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PM King talks tough on crime


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CASTRIES – Prime Minister Stephenson King, warning that  he would not allow a few “rotten apples” to contaminate St Lucia,  has announced new measures  to deal with escalating crime, including a restructuring  of the police force.
In a nationwide radio and television broadcast last Sunday night, King said that his administration would not allow the socio-economic progress of the island over the past years to be halted by the actions of a few criminals, especially those engaged in gangland style executions.
“Every homicide, every single criminal act, wherever it might occur in St Lucia, is like another nail in our nation’s coffin. We will not be buried alive. The rotten apples will be removed in the best interests of those not yet contaminated,” he said.
He acknowledged that some of the challenges facing the country were “obviously beyond our control” but added that “too many, I fear,  are of our own making.
“The good news is that, what we do to ourselves, we also can undo. We can stop, take stock and shift direction in our individual and national interests.  Challenges are not new to us. We are a famously resilient people.”
The prime minister said that as one of the measures to deal with the crime situation, his administration had accepted the recommendations of the Public Service Commission that include proposals for the restructuring of the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force, to take effect on Monday.
He said the recommendations include the transfer of Commissioner of Police Ausbert Regis to the position of Director of Special Initiatives within the Office of the Prime Minister, while Vernon Francois, the Assistant Commissioner, has been appointed to act in the position of Commissioner of Police, effective May 27. (CMC)