POLICE Commissioner Severin Monchery will today speak on the subject of crime as he fills reporters in on the strategies the police department used in dealing with the subject over the holiday season.
With homicides and other criminal acts still registering high in the country, government must now have to come up with efficient strategies on how to manage crime, how to keep it from escalating, how to get young people to settle their differences in ways other than violence — and how to keep violent crimes at a minimal or eradicate them altogether.
Last year — and the year before — should by now have given the authorities an idea as to how strategic they should be in keeping the crime monster at bay.
With 60 homicides recorded in 2017 — the highest ever in the country’s history — which sparked addresses from Prime Minister Allen Chastanet on the subject and a determination by National Security Minister Senator Hermangild Francis that same year at a crime symposium that crime in general will be tackled by his government — an expectation of sorts is being awaited by the people at government’s response to the crime wave bashing the country.
2018 followed almost the same trend, as the previous with all sorts of violence taking place in the country which ended the year with 43 homicides.
Although the nation is yet to hear what government has in store to fight crime for this year, it looks like Police Commissioner Severin Monchery may give an insight of the programmes his department may have already set in motion to deal with the crime situation when he addresses the media today.
Meanwhile, Senator Francis believes more social dialogue — particularly concerning young people — may help in tackling effectively the crime situation on the island.
Just before the year ended, he told a local newspaper (The Mirror) that young people have not been able to deal with issues in a manner becoming of human beings.
“Everyone seems to now want to resort to violence and the easiest most efficient way to deal with an issue is to resort to using the gun,” the Mirror Newspaper quoted him as saying.
Perhaps the time is now ripe for Francis to explain to the citizens the recommendations his government has decided to go through with that came out of the November 2017 Crime Symposium.
As government after government is always quick to point out: crime is everyone’s business — not that of the police alone, not that of the government alone, but one that each Saint Lucian should play his or her part in curbing.
As fitting as this point may be for the government, although some may see this as the government’s way of deflecting its responsibility on the crime issue, government sharing their plans with the public could go a long way in getting the type of public assistance police repeatedly call for in helping them solve crime.
It is time that the nation sees the vast bank of information garnered at the Crime Symposium serving as a national compass on the way forward in the prevention, reduction and punishment of crime.
As noted by Francis himself last year: “The crime symposium was not intended to be a “talk shop”. Continuity is very much on my agenda.”
Also last year he said that in response to many issues raised at the Crime Symposium concrete initiatives were in the making which will be shared with the public in due course.
Meanwhile, the commissioner will also be expected to shed some light on the latest worrisome news regarding the police department’s fight against crime – news that the Criminal record Office of the Police Force, located on Bridge Street, was burglarized last week!