Commissioner of Police Vernon Francois and other high ranking officials of the Royal St. Lucia Police Force (RSLPF) met with educators, police officers and a few business owners in the city today to discuss the ongoing issue of loitering and indecent behaviour being portrayed by school students.
The top cop said the emergency meeting was necessary because it has been an ongoing one and requires a solution.
Francois said that all stakeholders should have an input in helping to reduce or stop the loitering, which most times lead to criminal behaviour.
He told the gathering that a number of school-aged children are known to be loitering in Castries and entering stores and businesses.
Francois said the RSLPF believes that trend is worrying and this type of behaviour can lead to stealing and poses a major threat to city businesses.
Francois told the meeting that a research was done regarding the issues a few years back by the Community Relations Branch of the RSLPF and a few recommendations were made. One of them was to increase police presence in the affected areas, starting at 3 p.m daily.
The team had also recommended that there be greater public awareness about the issue and plans should be made to amend the Education Act to allow principals to punish students who loiter.
Speaking on suggestions that were made to have a curfew, the police chief said that will not be the best option. He explained that it would mean police will have to arrest and charge students, which is something he is not too keen on implementing.
The police plans to continue to dialogue with stakeholders and hopefully come up with a plan to address the issue.