Call made for funding of a regional security system

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Call made for funding of a regional security system

St Lucia’s Opposition leader has issued a call for Caricom to fund a regional security system.

Chastanet was invited to speak at the United National Congress’ (UNC) fourth Anti-crime Town Hall meeting at the SWAHA Hindu College in Sangre Grande on Monday night.

Highlighting the issue of crime across the region, Chastanet said countries should not treat it as a national problem. He reminded that the gangs which are creating the most problems are regional and international networks with better weapons and technology.

As such, he called for Caricom to form a “net” around countries to keep the crime out.
Chastanet said, “Let’s fund a regional security system to protect all of us.”

He said crime had reached a level where governments ought to have command centres to deal with crime, police should be polygraphed to ensure they tell the truth, fishing boats should have GPS to know where they’re going, culprits with guns shouldn’t be given bonds, there should be cameras with facial recognition systems and ways should be found to assist people to give police information.

He said the gangs are offering youths a better future than governments offer.

”Youths want more today and they want it now, we cannot tell them no, we must offer them opportunities they want,” he added.

“We must protect each other’s borders to be able to protect ourselves,” he said.

He said RSS exists for countries in the Eastern Caribbean, including Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Chastanet said this is especially important, as Caribbean states are preparing to take legislation to various Parliaments to ease regional travel through the Caricom Single Market and Economy (CSME).

“I am calling upon the leaders today, I am asking them to do the right thing now. Allow the tax to go through and let us fund a regional security system that is going to be to protect all of us,” he said.

“I want to know that the brightest and the best police officers in each one of the countries will now be working for that regional organisation. I want to know that there is an entity that can audit our own police forces and give them guidance and I want to know that not only the borders of St Lucia are being protected but the borders of all other Caricom countries have formed a net around ourselves to keep the scourge out.”

Chastanet has said he and Opposition leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar have also agreed to form a collective of opposition leaders to ensure the voices of the opposition parties in the Caribbean region are heard by entities – including Caricom.