‘There Is Hope!’ – Chastanet Speaks On Caribbean Crime Spike – St. Lucia Times

The content originally appeared on: St. Lucia Times News

Saint Lucia’s opposition leader, Allen Chastanet, addressed a Trinidad and Tobago town hall meeting on a hopeful note amid a spike in crime in several Caribbean countries.

“As bad as the statistics are about crime in our countries, there is hope,” he told the event that Trinidad and Tobago’s opposition United National Congress (UNC) organised.

He recalled the crime issues that New York City, Washington DC, Miami, Los Angeles, London, and Paris faced.

The former Saint Lucia Prime Minister said all those places at one time had the label of the most dangerous cities in the world.

Nevertheless, Chastanet said they broke the cycle of continually doing the same things and found solutions.

“We must find the solutions to crime in our region,” he declared to applause.

The United Workers Party (UWP) leader said the solution lies with more than one person.

“I am pleading with you. Open your hearts and feel the pain of the people who are being affected because today it’s them; tomorrow it is going to be you. You will be the mother saying, ‘He was a good boy!’” the Saint Lucia opposition leader stated.

Chastanet explained that one of the first changes to accept is that crime is no longer national.

He said the gangs creating the most problems are regional and international networks.

In this regard, the UWP leader suggested that individual countries could not successfully fight ‘those corporations of evil’.

“They are bigger than all of us,” he said at the town hall meeting, adding that “they have more weapons and technology than we have.”

As a result, Chastanet urged funding for the Regional Security System (RSS) to make it better equipped than the criminals and for a border control system that facilitates inter-regional communication.

Chastanet noted that when the RSS dispatches officers to a country in the region, the officers who are picked have never spoken to each other.

“So all they are doing is showing force. They are not going to go and solve any problem,” he said.

He recalled that as Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, he supported each country, allocating one dollar of its airport tax towards funding the RSS.

Chastanet called on Caribbean leaders, many of whom he said were in government when he was PM, to do the right thing now by funding the RSS to protect everyone.

He also called for resolving the case backlog in courts, establishing command centres to deal with crime, polygraph tests for police officers, GPS for commercial seagoing vessels to know where they are heading, and facial recognition cameras.

In addition, the UWP leader suggested that culprits with guns should not get bonds.

“It has to be much more serious than that,” he stated.