Saturday 4 April, 2020

"Criminals are not your friends" - Moncherry to Law Enforcement

Police Commissioner Severin Moncherry

Police Commissioner Severin Moncherry

The Government of St. Lucia has promised to use robust crime-fighting techniques and strategies to dismantle criminal organizations in the country.

The warning came from Ubaldus Raymond, Minister in the Ministry of Finance, at the opening of a Joint Border Security Training Workshop today.

Raymond delivered the keynote address at the workshop. He also stated that government remains committed to ensuring that the country’s border control personnel are equipped with the necessary tools to combat illicit activities.

“Government, in the fight against crime and as a means to ensure security is not compromised at any level, is responding by pioneering new, smarter ways to manage the legitimate movement of goods and people into and through our borders,” Raymond said.

He added: “We will continue to enact our own legislation to combat illegal activities at all levels and employ technologies that can facilitate the movement of persons into and out of St. Lucia without compromising trade and security.”

An idea of how insecure citizens are in their respective CARICOM countries was proffered by Forbes Francis, Executive Director of CARICOM’s IMPACS (Implementation Agency for Crime and Security).

He said that within the years 2006 – 2016, 23,726 citizens of CARICOM were murdered with the weapon of choice being illegal firearms.

He also said that the number of illegal firearms seized by law enforcements officers in the same period was 21,844.

But it was Police Commissioner Severin Moncherry who really stirred workshop participants when he said that the workshop was something the police force had been waiting for, for a very long time.

He called on the Customs and Excise Officials, Border Control Officials and police officers attending the workshop to step up their game in securing the country’s borders and stop blaming its porous nature for the amount of illegal drugs, guns and immigrants that enter, as there is no proof that illegal immigrants and guns and drugs come through the sieve-like borders.

“Some (illegal goods) may very well come in through legal means,” Severin said.

He wants law enforcements officers to work together just as the criminals do.

“It is for us, law enforcement officers to ensure we pool our resources and work together. We need to ensure we keep in touch with the modern world and with technology,” he said.

Moncherry cautioned participants from going down the wrong path with unscrupulous persons who may want to purchase their loyalty for their own illegal activities.

 “We need to ensure we perform our duties to the best of our abilities. Ensure you do not bring the reputation of your organization into disrepute. Understand the criminals are not your friends. They will use you after which they will dump you or get rid of you,” Moncherry warned.

The workshop is a week-long affair and is being held at the conference room of the Ministry of External Affairs and International Trade, Baywalk Mall, Rodney Bay.

The Joint Border Security Training Workshop, is a component of a wider programme of works funded by the European Union’s 10th European Development Fund (EDF) geared towards strengthening CARICOM’s capacity to prevent and detect illegal activities at its borders and to enable increased prosecution and higher conviction rates.

Benefits of the workshop are the enhancing of the capacity of border security officials to identify and intercept persons, goods and vessels travelling across borders by illicit means or with illicit intent; improving screening techniques so as to allow for a reduction in wait times at checkpoints as passengers and cargo of no interest can be readily identified and processed; and reduction in litigation and poor publicity that may result from a less informed interaction with Immigration or Customs Officials.

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