Senior Cop Urges Action By All Against Youth Gang Violence – St. Lucia Times

The content originally appeared on: St. Lucia Times News

Deputy Police Commissioner Ronald Phillip has emphasised the need for collective action and a multi-faceted approach to addressing gang violence involving young men.

“The issue of stone-throwing and young men being armed with weapons in the city, attacking each other, is unacceptable,” Phillip noted.

Social media videos had earlier shown clashes on Chaussee Road, Castries, involving stone-throwing young men.

Police officers at the Central police station went to the scene twice, but did not encounter the youngsters.

In addition, none of the parties involved made any report to the police.

The youngsters are believed to belong to the rival Sixx and Seven Gang culture, imported from Trinidad and Tobago.

Deputy Police Commissioner Phillip recalled that last week, the police recovered several offensive weapons from students. 

However, he declared that “we cannot arrest our way out of this situation.”

“The time has come for parents to start parenting their children and taking up greater responsibility for them and their social activities,” the senior police official told St. Lucia Times. 

“I challenge the NGOs, governmental agencies, community leaders, faith-based organizations, schools, National Youth Council and others to speak up and denounce this type of activity that is taking place amongst our young people,” Phillip stated.

He acknowledged that many of Saint Lucia’s sister islands face similar challenges associated with the Sixx or Seven copycat syndrome.

” Whilst we recognize that this issue is broader than just policing, the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force remains committed in its quest to ensure citizen safety and security.,” Phillip said.

“This is why we have embarked on a series of strategic operations, community engagements and interventions and increased our visibility through patrols, ensuring a wider police presence is felt by the citizenry,” he explained.

“It is time for everyone to take action as we play our part in saving the lives of our young people,” Phillip declared.