The article below is a statement submitted to the general media, including St. Lucia News Online (SNO), by the main Opposition United Workers Party (UWP). The statement was not written by SNO and does not necessarily represent the views and opinions of SNO staff and management or its parent companies.
The United Workers Party notes with concern the spate of recent violent crimes in our beloved nation. The nature and frequency of crime over the past two weeks threatens to negatively impact Saint Lucia’s image as an investment location and tourism destination.
The UWP unlike the SLP while in opposition will not seek to gloat over or attempt to gain political mileage regarding occurrences of crime and the Government’s seeming inability to manage to current situation.
We are mindful nonetheless of Government’s responsibility to provide responses and devise strategies that would bring some measure of reassurance to key economic sectors and the wider population.
The United Workers Party is therefore forced to question the role of Mr. Ausbert Regis, who was appointed to the post of Special Advisor on Security in the Office of the Prime Minister in February of this year. The United Workers Party and Saint Lucian Tax Payers are curious to learn of Mr. Regis’ contribution as Special Advisor on Security to the formulation of strategies to combat violent crime in our society.
Saint Lucians must be assured that Mr. Regis’ salary of EC $12,000 a month is justified and that there are tangible benefits to be derived from his presence. There may well be a case therefore for the reapplication of these funds to assist the police and provide much needed resources to augment their services and facilitate their commendable efforts to date.
The nation is also anxious to hear a clear articulation from Minister of Home Affairs Senator Phillip La Corbinere of policies for addressing the current challenges of crime that threaten the stability and prospects of our nation. Mr. La Corbinere must understand that the nation expects him to go beyond his rhetorical verbiage and demonstrate the leadership that is expected of him as the Minister responsible.
Finally the United Workers Party reminds the St Lucia Labour Party Government of the promise made in its “Blueprint for Growth” to “Make St Lucia Safer”. We also take this opportunity to remind the nation of the aggressive and relentless political campaign conducted by the then opposition Labour Party when the previous UWP Administration faced challenges of crime.
In one of their statements on crime while in opposition the St Lucia Labour Party noted: “This Government has not approached the crime problem in any logical, rational, structured, systematic or strategic way. All we get are knee-jerk reactions when the levels of violence and murder increase. That is not how you fight crime or any societal problem. Where is the vision? Where is the strategy? Where is the plan? Where are the resources? Where is the commitment? Where is the LEADERSHIP?”
This statement presents us with such a glaring paradoxical reflection at this time.
The lesson here is that we should not seek to capitalize on and make political mileage from the occurrences of crime. The unpredictable nature of crime coupled with our limited resources as a small developing nation means that the phenomenon of crime will be a challenge to successive Governments and our nation as a whole. We now challenge the Government to work with all concerned parties including the Opposition to deliver on its promise to “Make St Lucia Safer”.
The UWP also calls on all Saint Lucians to support the efforts of the Royal St Lucia Police Force in combating the manifestation of crime within our society.
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