The LPM said that, while the minister’s revelation is nothing new, it does break new ground in the recognition and severity of the problem and does highlight an issue that all preceding governments in Saint Lucia from 1997 to 2012 have done their best either to downplay or have addressed in a very superficial manner in order to preserve their political standing.
According to the LPM leader, Therold Prudent, “Mr La Corbiniere’s admission should not be viewed through a prism of weakness or helplessness, but instead as a wakeup call to the entire island that if we do not act speedily and courageously to stem the growing tide of crime in Saint Lucia, our prior existence as a statistically low-crime and peace-loving society is on the verge of being obliterated.”
Prudent also pointed to a recent statement by Saint Lucia’s Minister of Tourism, Lorne Theophilus, hinting that for the very first time in the history of the island, the government is considering beefing up security at tourist attractions on the island.
According to Prudent, “If this isn’t proof enough of the downward spiral in which the country is headed, and to which Mr La Corbiniere has already alluded, then it is clear that Saint Lucians have not fully understood the gravity of what eventually happens when a nation is completely overrun by corrupt practices and widespread criminal activities.”
Prudent also noted that, while he is fully cognizant of the many social and economic factors that have contributed to the escalation of crime in Saint Lucia over the years, he has failed to understand why the last government and now this government have continued to resist the LPM’s calls and format for a national consultation on crime that is not held behind closed doors and within the narrow confines of parliament but in full public view.
“What is so wrong with talking directly to your citizens in an open forum and allowing them the full opportunity to flush out some of their many concerns and perhaps even present some ideas on how to nip this problem in the bud? How about the many victims that have been murdered, and have been quickly forgotten with the passage of time, how about the many tourists who been assaulted on our shores in what should have been a peaceful and carefree holiday in Saint Lucia? Is it too much to ask of our government that they show some courage by convening this long-awaited National Consultation on Crime in which judges, educators and teachers, nurses, farmers, the clergy, social service workers, mental health professionals, the police, prison wardens, correctional officer, probation officers, politicians and unemployed youths, in essence every citizen of the country, is able to participate?” Prudent asked.