Saint Lucia and Martinique have pledged to work closer against cross-border crime after law enforcement representatives of both countries met earlier this month for a two-day conference in Fort de France.
The conference focused on practical demonstrations in the field of criminal intelligence and analysis with a focus on trace sampling, a compilation of data and cross-checks, search and detection, drone surveillance, documentary fraud investigation with a focus on passports and ID cards and the treatment of weapons seized by the police.
The two sides plan to have Zoom meetings every month and twice-yearly encounters in their resolve to increase cooperation against criminal elements, especially those involved in illegal gun and drug trafficking. In addition, they plan to draw up and sign a memorandum of understanding.
“The criminals have no borders and the same should apply to the Police both in Saint Lucia and Martinique,” the General Commandant of Martinique’s Gendarmerie, William Vaquette said.
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” We hope for reciprocal cooperation between Saint Lucia and the Gendarmerie in Martinique. Saint Lucia can assist us in a number of ways in the fight against criminality, and we can also assist the Saint Lucian Police in a number of ways. I refer notably to one of the priorities of the Gendarmerie which is the fight against the proliferation of guns which is a real problem, as well as other types of crimes and delinquency on both sides,” Vaquette stated.
Saint Lucia’s Consul General in Martinique, Joanna Salton, who coordinated the programme, explained that it was essential to establish such cooperation.
“Moving forward we hope that there will be an exchange twice a year between Saint Lucia and Martinique ,” she asserted, adding that in that way, the two sides can better fight criminals together.
“I can only envisage that this cooperation will get even stronger and there will be an even more rapid and fluid exchange of information between the armed forces to battle crime on both sides, especially when it comes to illegal weapons and of course drug smuggling,” Salton expressed
Saint Lucia’s Deputy Commissioner of Police, Dorian O’ Brien described the two-day conference as ‘a great success’.