Prime Minister Allen Chastanet does not believe that crime is up overall in Saint Lucia, while acknowledging that the homicide rate is very disturbing to authorities. In November the Police Force reported increases across most major crime categories – that disclosure was made during a National Crime Symposium convened by the National Security Ministry with participation from a wide-cross section of religious, political, public and private sector organizations.
During the weekly pre-Cabinet press briefing on December 4th, Prime Minister Chastanet acknowledged the historic homicide count however, like the Minister for Equity Lenard Montoute, does not see a marked increase in the total crime rate.
Police data confirm sharp increases in crime for the months January to September 2017.
The Royal Saint Lucia Police Force reported a 10% increase in reported crimes compared to the same period in 2016. From January – September 2016, the RSLPF received 1295 fewer reports of crime over the corresponding period in 2017.
The Prime Minister said his Cabinet has the ‘solutions’ to address a spiraling homicide toll however, appealed for more time. To date Saint Lucia has recorded 54 homicides in 2017. Previously the highest recorded homicide count was 52 in 2011.
Crime was a hot topic during the 2016 Election campaign. Speaking on the stump as Political Leader of the United Workers Party [UWP] during a campaign rally, the incumbent Prime Minister vowed to “make Saint Lucia safe” after chiding his predecessor for failing to grapple with the crime rate.