Former Saint Lucia Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony has lamented the impact of crime and violence on the country and society in an address to last week’s 38th Annual Education Conference of the National Principals’ Association.
The Vieux Fort South MP spoke amid a surge in violent crime in Saint Lucia, resulting in 31 homicides.
Several fatal shootings, including the most recent that claimed the life of 31-year-old Nervic Louis, 31, have occurred in Anthony’s constituency.
“If we are not careful, this Island will become ungovernable, consumed and crippled by the violence which surrounds us in our homes and in our communities,” the former University of the West Indies Law Lecturer warned.
“It is true that the failure to contain crime and violence is not unique to us. It is a regional problem and perhaps if you ask me, it evidences the greatest failure of public policy makers cross our region. It is a most palpable failure of this generation of political leaders and prime ministers across our region. No one seems to have answers,” he observed.
Just last week, Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre held talks in Barbados with Regional Security System (RSS) officials to discuss cooperation on crime management.
In announcing the Barbados meeting, his office said Pierre remains committed to ensuring citizen safety.
And Pierre, responsible for National Security, observed the need to tackle particularly violent gun crime scientifically and as a public health concern.
“The timely prosecution and just punishment of crime will also be utilised to signal this administration’s intent on protecting citizens, communities and the reputation of Saint Lucia,” the release from the Office of the Saint Lucia Prime Minister said.
In addition, it noted that during the upcoming Sitting of Parliament scheduled for July, the Government would introduce legislation to cause stiffer penalties for illegal firearm and ammunition possession.
According to the release, the Government expects bipartisan support from the Opposition on the proposed Bill to equip the Judiciary with the legal tools to ‘put away’ perpetrators.