Building a Safe and Just Society

IMPROVING THE DELIVERY OF JUSTICE

The judicial system is a critical component of our governance structure. The efficient delivery of justice redounds to the benefit of every citizen and every sector of our society. It engenders confidence among residents and also investors who are deciding on a safe and fair jurisdiction in which to establish a business.

It is necessary that we do whatever is within our purview to provide the right environment for the effective and efficient delivery of justice and the smooth operations of the judiciary.

JUDICIAL INFRASTRUCTURE

Your Labour Government will:

  • Construct a modern National Judicial Complex to improve the delivery of justice in Saint Lucia;
  • Continue to improve the conditions of the Magistrates’ Courts in the various districts. In the coming term, we will make improvements at Soufriere and Gros Islet;
  • Modernise the business processes of the judicial system, from the recording and fling of cases by the Police, to handling by the Prosecution and the Courts;
  • Automate the process of case management, creating a paperless recording and transfer of information.

THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM

Your Labour Government will:

  • Improve the efficiency of the Criminal Justice System. Within our first six months in office, we will review the current Criminal Code and bring forward legislative amendments to make our justice system more efficient;
  • Strengthen the Crown Prosecution Service to bring it to full working capacity by the end of 2016;
  • Appoint a team of experts to review the Criminal Justice System;
  • Work with the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court to ensure that we can expedite the backlog of matters, particularly for persons on remand and persons accused of capital crimes;
  • Promote community service and mandatory counseling as more cost-effective alternatives to reform prisoners and reduce on the number of persons incarcerated;
  • Strengthen the Probation and Parole Unit to support our alternative sentencing efforts;
  • Introduce new monitoring technology to manage persons who have been sentenced or on remand. This will also be used in instances where high fight risk persons are granted bail;
  • Support the “Year of Mercy” called upon by Pope Francis. Within our first 90 days in office, we will ensure that the Committee on the Prerogative of Mercy provided for by Section 75 of the Constitution meets and advises on the inmates who are deemed fit to be returned to society;
  • Make it possible for video evidence by children to be introduced by the Police and at Courts with remote links in order to reduce the number of times child witnesses are re-victimized within the judicial system.

REFORM AND REINTEGRATION

Your Labour Government will:

  • Develop a national strategic plan for reform and reintegration of inmates;
  • Build on our efforts to reform persons who have been incarcerated by expanding the educational, skills development and psychological support offered to all inmates; establishment of a Recidivism Reduction Programme that focuses on assisting persons to reintegrate with society and their families;
  • Support the establishment of a half-way centre to ensure many former inmates can be engaged in new livelihoods.

PROTECTING OUR WOMEN AND CHILDREN

Our women and children are often vulnerable to the effects of domestic and physical abuse. In recent times, we have seen worrying levels of rapes and domestic abuse in our society. This is not a feature that should ever be tolerated.

Every citizen and every visitor to our country, regardless of age, gender or other categorization, should and must feel safe and secure in Saint Lucia. Therefore, we will spare no effort to protect those who find themselves vulnerable to the actions of the deviant and lawless few in society.

PROTECTION AGAINST SEXUAL VIOLENCE AND EXPLOITATION

Your Labour Government will:

  • Establish a special National Task Force on Rape and Sexual Offenses, in conjunction with the Department of Gender Affairs, the Police, Human Services and civil society groups to recommend to Cabinet a National Strategy Against Gender-Based Violence;
  • Engage in an intense and sustained national public education campaign against rape, incest and sexual abuse;
  • Ensure that education on sexual and reproductive health is part of the school curriculum;
  • Establish a Sex Offenders Registry;
  • Review the rules and procedures governing evidence in cases of rape, incest and sexual assaults.

CHILD CARE AND SAFE SPACES

Your Labour Government will:

  • Promote and encourage the establishment of child care spaces at places of work to reduce on the incidence of children roaming the streets after school is dismissed;
  • Establish a system of children’s parks and playgrounds to promote safe areas for children in each major community throughout the island;
  • Promote the development of more childcare facilities that allow women, and especially single mothers, to get a job;
  • Strengthen standards and quality assurance of facilities and provide mechanisms for parents who cannot afford such facilities to access them.

SUPPORTING OUR POLICE AND PREVENTING CRIME

Keeping our country and our citizens safe and secure remains a top priority of a Saint Lucia Labour Party Government. The last four and half years have seen us make strides in this area. Homicides have reduced appreciably and there has been a downward trend in many other crime statistics. We salute the men and women of the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force for the admirable job they have done, under sometimes difficult circumstances, to fight crime.

However, there are still too many violent crimes being committed in our society and it is our goal to dramatically reduce the incidence of crime in all forms, against all categories of victims, and in all communities around the island.

POLICE INFRASTRUCTURE

Your Labour Government will:

  • Construct a new, modern National Police Headquarters at La Toc;
  • Build a new Northern Police Divisional Headquarters at Massade, Gros Islet, with its own Criminal Investigation, Community Police, Special Services and Vulnerable Persons Units;
  • Establish a new Central Police Station on Chaussée Rd, as part of a redevelopment of Wilton’s Yard;
  • Invest in two Mobile Police Units to aid the Police in providing a rapid response, tackling trouble areas and delivering support to mass crowd events;
  • Expand the use of police using bicycles in the city of Castries and also in towns and urban centres like Gros Islet, Rodney Bay, Soufriere and Vieux Fort. This will be done in tandem with a new special constabulary for high visitor-use areas.

COMMUNITY POLICING AND CRIME PREVENTION

Your Labour Government will:

  • Establish community protection and policing strategies at each Police Station on the island. These strategies will include community safety audits, neighbourhood watches, safety signage, lighting improvements, de-bushing and public education;
  • Expand CCTV cameras into every hot spot and at every major junction;
  • Establish a Drone Unit to assist in crime prevention and detection.

BORDER PROTECTION

Your Labour Government will:

  • Strengthen the Marine Police through new equipment.

USE OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY IN CRIME SOLVING

Your Labour government will:

  • Ensure that the Forensic Laboratory becomes a reputable and secure authority, capable of serving the entire Eastern Caribbean;
  • Introduce legislation to require DNA samples from all convicted or incarcerated persons and build up a national DNA database to aid in solving crimes;
  • Increase the use of Geographical Information Systems in crime solving.

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