Pierre Says Failure Not An Option In War Against Crime – St. Lucia Times

The content originally appeared on: St. Lucia Times News

Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre, sounding the alarm that crime has escalated to crisis proportions in the Caribbean, has stated that failure is not an option in combatting the menace.

Pierre, responsible for National Security, delivered the keynote address at the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) 68th Annual Health Research Conference.

He asserted that the incidence of crime and violence in the Caribbean presents a public health crisis that is surpassed only for the time being by the COVID-19 Pandemic.

In this regard, the Saint Lucia Prime Minister told his audience that the authorities must apply the same degree of resolve, ingenuity, and commitment used to overcome the pandemic.

He highlighted restoring family values.

Pierre also spoke of the need for a whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach to crime prevention and control and real-time data on trends and dynamics of violent crime in various hot spots, as well as school interventions.

He stated that aside from Climate change, the public health crisis of crime and violence presents the most severe threats to sustainable development in the region.

He observed that many factors contribute to the ‘virus’ of crime. 

Pierre mentioned poverty, lack of access to resources, inequitable distribution of the benefits of development, declining family values, and youth unemployment among the frequently cited causes. 

“Enabling the spread of this virus is the rapid emergence of a gang culture that seems to have no age limit. Governments at “six and seven” to contain its spread within communities and especially within the school system,” the Prime Minister noted.

 He also appealed to politicians and aspiring politicians to stop trying to score political points with crime statistics.

“The blame game needs to stop. We are near pandemic levels,” Pierre observed.

Pierre said the CARPHA event, themed: ‘Violence in the Caribbean: a Public Health Crisis, was an opportunity to continue refining some of the ideas and recommendations made at a special regional symposium on a similar theme in Trinidad and Tobago. 

“My hope is that following this conference, a regional Task Force will be established to supply CARICOM countries with a medium to long-term action plan, while we continue the implementation of short-term measures” the Prime Minister stated.