Two police officers are being investigated by the leadership of the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force following four homicides last weekend in Castries and Dennery.
One of the police officers is said to have been present at an evening party where a shooting by unidentified persons left three persons dead and several wounded. It is being investigated whether his presence at the party violated COVID protocols and if it did, his superiors said he should expect to be fined and disciplined.
In the case of the other officer, who shot a person of alleged unsound mind outside his home in Dennery, the leadership of the police force said this case is also being investigated, but not as a murder charge.
The police press conference at which the investigations were announced, followed two meetings called with the police leadership – within days of each other — by the Minister for Home Affairs and the Prime Minister, respectively.
Last week, Home Affairs Minister Virgina Albert-Poyotte met with the leadership of the Force to discuss, among other things, public complaints of the absence or reduction of police officers on duty while criminals and gangs operated with apparent impunity. Prime Minister and National Security Minister Philip J. Pierre and the leadership of the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (RSLPF) met on Monday, following the weekend homicides.
In response to Minister Poyotte’s concerns, the leadership of the RSLPF explained that while police officers might not appear to be visible in the numbers normally expected, it was not an indication that they were absent. According to the top brass of the police, police on duty were very often not in uniform because of a “shortage of uniforms” occasioned by supply chain problems.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Pierre, in his meeting with the RSLPF leadership, challenged them “to employ innovative strategies, professionalism and proactiveness” in their fight against crime and lawlessness.