Political Leader of the Lucian Peoples Movement (LPM) Therold Prudent has said it has always been the policy position of his party, that a successful crime-combating strategy must first begin with a disciplined, committed and corruption-free police force.
Therefore, he would recommend that a full and independent investigation of the entire Royal Saint Lucia Police Force, from the top down, and the enactment of any necessary legislation to deal with incompetence, corruption, abuse of power or other wrongdoings.
“This is in order to provide a reliable top-notch force that serves and protects our country and its citizens effectively and efficiently. Simply put, the first step in any serious anti-crime initiative must first involve the removal of incompetent and/or corrupt officers from the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force,” Prudent told St. Lucia News Online (SNO).
Unless this is done, the LPM leader says Saint Lucia can never achieve the levels of law and order the nation deserves.
But he also cited the need for police officers to be equipped with the necessary resources to eradicate criminal activity on the island, including appropriate training to ensure the highest level of professional conduct by police officers and improve investigative and reporting standards.
“The current situation furthermore requires a speedy, transparent and public resolution of the numerous outstanding coroner’s inquests and other investigations,” he asserted.
Prudent also reiterated previous calls by his party for a national consultation on crime and the enactment of tougher legislation to offer a measure of hope to people.
“The outside world is no longer oblivious to these serious issues and it is time to end the political hypocrisy.”
The LPM is also calling for a full review of the Customs and Excise departments, immigration and port security, and other statutory bodies that are responsible for the island’s borders, and preventing the importation of contraband, including drugs and guns.
Prudent said, “We recognise the need for a modern public service and we therefore call for speedy progress with public service reform and modernization, to promote the delivery of efficient government services and the elimination of excessive bureaucracy and red tape.”
Effective legal, economic and social justice management is an acute requirement also. Therefore, the LPM is convinced that the island will be better served if government ministries were placed in the hands of trained professionals with the knowledge and skills to pursue a non-partisan and focused national policy on trade agreements, development issues and investments, to bring jobs and other opportunities here.