(CMC) – Prime Minister Allen Chastanet has described crime as one of the glaring challenges facing the country even as it celebrates its latest achievements.
Chastanet spoke against the backdrop of a recent sharp upsurge in gun violence, as he delivered a message Thursday to mark National Day.
“This year’s National Day finds St Lucia virtually on the cusp of a new beginning as far as development is concerned,” he observed.
“We have begun to see some positive projections for our country regarding the economy, the lowering of unemployment and the advancement of necessary social and infrastructural projects.”
He stated that the government this week made a significant step towards building the infrastructure necessary to facilitate growth.
He made reference to the upgrade of sporting facilities around the island as presenting the opportunities for more young people to chart a course in the sporting arena.
The Prime Minister said this is complemented by the after school sports programmes and the development of the school focused on sports excellence.
Chastanet explained that his administration is also about to start major developments in the country, including finally the redevelopment of the International Airport and the upgrade of road networks.
However, he lamented that even as St Lucia celebrates these latest achievements, “we are fully aware of the challenges that face our fair Helen,” among them – the issue of crime.
“Strategically we have taken decisions as a Government to strengthen our police force and justice system and we recognize we still have a long way to go,” Chastanet asserted.
“The key however is to steer our youth away from a life of crime and this takes all of us as a society. Our country’s ability to combat this scourge means all hands on deck for us to be successful. Therefore we must support the police and each other in efforts to combat crime,” the St Lucia Prime Minister declared.
“As a Government, National Day inspires us to remain focused on the task ahead which is to once again put St Lucia on the path to prosperity. Now more than ever, we cannot start doubting ourselves as a country. We must be “ALL-IN”,” Chastanet stated.
“Let this time, this National Day, be an awakening for us, as we recognize the greatness and possibilities for our country,” he said.