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Saint Lucia and Martinique plan to step up their collaboration against crime with a visit here this week of two top French law enforcement officials.
According to Martinique media reports, the Commander of the Overseas Gendarmerie General William De Meyer and the head of the Martinique Gendarmerie General William Vaquette are due in Saint Lucia on Friday.
In their meeting with local officials, the visitors are expected to discuss operational and technical security cooperation between Saint Lucia and Martinique.
A violent crime spike, mainly involving illegal firearms, has been plaguing both countries.
And law enforcers in both neighbouring Islands are concerned about the trade in illegal guns and drugs between Saint Lucia and Martinique.
As a result, they are planning joint patrols involving the gendarmerie, and the Saint Lucia Marine Police.
On Wednesday, Martinique France-Antilles reported that the patrols would begin on Friday for the first time in Saint Lucia’s territorial waters.
The online publication said that simultaneously Saint Lucia Coast Guard oficers would join French gendarmes in patrolling off Le Marin on the South Coast of Martinique.
It quoted the Martinique Prefecture as saying that the authorities intend to regularly repeat the exchanges on land and at sea to strengthen daily security and help arrest criminals.
While in Saint Lucia, the Commander of the Overseas Gendarmerie and the head of the Martinique Gendarmerie are down to present equipment, including drones and formalise plans to train local police in their use.