In light of recent concerns about robbers preying on students in District Three, particularly at the Leon Hess Comprehensive School, Education Minister Dr. Robert Lewis is promising increased police presence in the area.
The minister told St Lucia News Online (SNO) in an exclusive interview today (June 12) that he plans to meet with Minister of Home Affairs Victor Lacobniniere to discuss this plan in greater detail and to beef up security in the district.
“Because of the increased occurrence of students being stopped on the streets after school and their possessions are being taken from them by criminal elements… I think it would be very good for the police to have a greater presence between 2:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.,” the minister explained, pointing out that about 1500 students from the district would traverse the area whenever school is dismissed in the afternoon.
Meanwhile, in referring to the issue where people have suggested that the laptops given to students are attracting bandits, the education minister said that issue has been dismissed.
“And that’s commendable that the report showed that students were not been unduly affected by having the laptops with them,” he added.
Commenting on the recent attack on a St. Joseph Convent female student, Dr. Lewis said it is sad that students are still being attacked and seriously injured.
The police, principal and teachers of the schools within District Three, including the Leon Hess Secondary School, have been on high alert after receiving report that bandits have been robbing students of cell phones and other possessions near the school in the past several weeks.
The school’s principal Rohan Lubon told SNO in a previous interview that the robberies are usually done at knife point in the afternoons after students are dismissed from school.
Lubon said this is not the first time these incidents have occurred. They have been a spate of robberies in the area some time ago, which also affected two other schools in the district – the St Joseph Convent and Entrepot Secondary School, among two others.
The school’s principal said the number of robberies has increased. There were reports of four robberies on students in the area during the past month.
Lubon said while he has seen an increased police presence in recent times, the robbers have become strategic in their actions.
Students have been cautioned to walk in groups and to wait on the compound for buses.