Last updated: October 27, 2017 at 9:14 am
Ernest Hilaire has said that the “significant increase” in the number of murders in St Lucia are a cause for alarm in the business community.
And this worry has spread among “rightful thinking” Saint Lucians.
“There were 19 murders in the last half of last year and already over forty for this year. So we have had almost 60 murders since the new minister of home affairs and the prime minister came into office,” he said.
The Castries South MP noted some of the fundamental requirements for businesses to prosper are stability, safety, order and respect for law in the country – something that he sees as decreasing under the current administration.
Hilaire said the overall state of the country could make international investors questions whether to bring their funds to the island.
And the current crime situation also breeds bad practice as business owners make plans to protect their product.
“Hotels don’t want their guests to go out. Hotels are now claiming beaches to be private so the locals cannot interact with their guests because there is the perception that out there is unsafe and people out there cannot be trusted, therefore, don’t let them come to the beaches.” said the Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) spokesman for investment.
“We need to be concerned about that as a country, that we cannot be establishing any claims on prime land in St Lucia, shutting out St Lucians.”
He stressed that the opposition isn’t looking to politicise crime.
Although he admitted that the SLP did suffer during their previous administration when the then-opposition UWP attacked them on this issue
“We are in a sense very careful how we speak about crime because we don’t want to make it a political issue,” he said.
“But sooner or later the Saint Lucia Labour Party will have to bring crime and especially the high murder rate in Saint Lucia to the front burner and call upon the government and demonstrate our concern in a very forceful way, because it is a concern – suicides, rapes, murders have all escalated since June last year and what is being done about it?”