Building on New Year’s address when he committed to making all available resources to combat gun violence, Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre has said there would be more robust measures to deal with the problem in 2024.
Pierre spoke on Monday during a pre-cabinet press briefing.
He said he was very concerned about the country’s homicides.
Shortly after Pierre, who is responsible for national security, spoke, Saint Lucia recorded its fourth homicide for 2024.
A man in his twenties succumbed to a gunshot wound sustained on Dauphin Street, Gros Islet.
In 2023, Saint Lucia recorded what Prime Minister Pierre described as an ‘alarming’ increase in gun-related homicides.
Police figures indicated that there were 75 homicides, of which 70 were murders.
However, Pierre told reporters that during the last half of 2023, the homicide percentage rate substantially decreased compared to the first half.
“I am stating a statistical fact that in the second half of 2023, the homicide rate decreased when compared to the first half. The measures that we put in place these measures are going to be strengthened. This year, hopefully, we can continue that downward trend that was seen in the second half of 2023,” Pierre stated.
Pierre declared he took no comfort in the percentage rate reduction in homicides in the first half of 2023.
He asserted that was not good enough and nothing to boast about.
Nevertheless, the Prime Minister thanked the police and the non-government organisations for their efforts.