St Lucia’s Law Enforcement Situation

September 27, 2018 Crime , OTHER

SLT photo

 

By

Ricardo Swire

 

 

Law enforcement authorities across the Eastern Caribbean struggle to control a wave of violent crime as drug traffickers, who have met resistance in Mexico and Central America, turn their attention towards English speaking islands.

 

A recent Taiwan hosted law enforcement conference promoted international police cooperation. The forum concentrated on methods of arresting transnational telecommunications fraud, shared legal assistance, cross-border security strategies, white collar schemes, seizure of criminal assets and money laundering.

 

St Lucia’s Commissioner of Police used the Taiwan assembly to request continued support, training and development for the Royal St Lucia Police Force (RSLPF). After a series of unsolved 2008/2009 extrajudicial killings the RSLPF’s reorganization was recommended. America’s 2013 Leahy Law sanctions against the RSLPF exasperated the island’s internal security challenge. Several enforcement constraints followed America’s withdrawal of assistance. St Lucia’s inability to establish effective leadership at all levels of the RSLPF and Financial Year 2017/2018 budget cuts collectively impacted the island’s law enforcement capabilities.

 

In April 2014 a British businessman was viciously murdered on St Lucia. In 2017 the three year old case was referred to British authorities due to lack of RSLPF progress. Evidence suggested the British national was a victim of the island’s gangland violence. St Lucia’s 2017 internal security statistics recorded sixty-murders compared to twenty-eight killings in the first half of 2018. The Prime Minister subtly sought audience with the US President to appeal for leniency. Official policy dictates only the US Congress can nullify sanctions not the President or State Department.

 

In June 2018 St Lucia’s political directorate ordered cash seized by the RSLPF to be used for the purchase of additional vehicles. Drug trafficking has been an “Achilles Heel” for the island. Interception of the pirogue named “Jah Walk on Water,” by officers from the Southern Division Marine Unit, demonstrated the chronic drug threat. The vessel was stopped one nautical mile off Gros Piton, Soufriere. Officers searched the pirogue and found three polythene bags of marijuana. Two local traffickers aboard, both residents of Baron’s Drive Soufriere, were detained.

 

 

 

 

Ricardo Swire - Tuck Magazine

Ricardo Swire

Ricardo Swire is the Principal Consultant at R-L-H Security Consultants & Business Support Services and writes on a number of important issues.

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