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(GIS) – UK Resident British High Commissioner, Steve McCready, indicated that the British Consular Services is taking a new approach to assisting British nationals by focusing more on preventative measures.
Out of this, the British High Commission developed, funded and facilitated the Serious Sexual Offences Course for members Royal Saint Lucia Police Force Officers attached to the Vulnerable Persons Unit (VPU). The course was geared towards enhancing the capabilities of the officers to deal with serious sexual offences.
“Under the banner of consular prevention work, the British High Commission and the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force have collaborated to deliver training to the police officers of the Vulnerable Persons Unit VPU,” said Mr. McCready. “We have many of them here tonight and we are very grateful for them being here tonight. The training has been about the handling of sexual assault cases. This of course is very important to recognize, it’s not only a consular issue affecting British nationals, it’s a hugely important social issue affecting Saint Lucians and indeed anyone affected by sexual assault. It’s an issue which connects the issues of domestic violence, child abuse, gender, human rights, economic development amongst many others. It’s an issue which is too important to be ignored and it was for this reason that we wanted to work with the police to deliver this training.”
British Consular Services are offered by the British government, assisting British nationals overseas in their time of need. Consulars assess their situation and tailor the level and type of assistance to suit the individual circumstances of each case.
Assistant Commissioner of Police, Crucita Pelius, expressed gratitude to the British High Commission for its partnership.
“Sexual assault offences for us is very serious like any other crime because of the negative impact it has on the victims. The participants today here, their skillsets have been enhanced in the various areas of investigation in this particular field of work. This sends a very strong message to the citizens and also to the perpetrators that this kind of behavior will not be tolerated in our country. We do not want it and we are grateful that this training has helped them to investigate these matters better. So we are ensured moving forward they will prosecute these matters better and these offenders will be dealt with accordingly.”
Minister for Tourism, Information and Broadcasting, Culture and Creatives Industries Hon. Dominic Fedee, expressed gratitude to the British Government for its continued support.
“I think that whether it’s in safety and security, whether it’s in trade or whether it’s in climate change we can always count on the United Kingdom for help with the Commonwealth. We are pleased by this signal of deeper cooperation and friendship that this workshop indicates. I thank your government on behalf of the Government and people of Saint Lucia and for your continued cooperation and your continued investment in the people and indeed the development of the Caribbean.”
The Serious Sexual Offences Course commenced on Ja. 27, and lasted a period of two weeks. The closing ceremony for the Serious Sexual Offences Course was held jointly with the Consular Reception on Feb. 6.