During 2011, Government engineered a programme featuring mobile panel discussions on the subject of crime, violence and anti-social behaviour.
Those discussions were taken to communities around the island and residents of those communities could speak to Government officials and national security personnel on the way forward to maintain Dominica’s image as a peaceful country.
Now at the start of a new year, Minister for National Security, Hon. Charles Savarin and Attorney-General Hon. Levi Peter met with the Commonwealth of Dominica Police Force for phase two of that drive.
That meeting served to attend to Government’s national security concerns and to identify specific moves that would boost the fight against crime, violence and anti-social behaviour.
Officers at the meeting were also encouraged to air their concerns relating to the effective policing of the state.
Dominica’s Attorney-General addressed the meeting highlighting the efforts of the Ministry of Legal Affairs to ensure that the Dominica Police Force has the required legislation to effectively execute the functions of their office. He also provided information regarding timelines for outstanding legislative measures meant to enhance the justice system.
Minister for National Security, Hon. Charles Savarin while commending the police force for its hard work, expressed Government’s sentiments that with the effective control of illegal firearms and drug trafficking and abuse will come a reduction in criminal activity.
“I firmly believe that a lot of the violent crimes that are executed in Dominica like home invasions and burglaries; these are linked to the drug trade and to the prevalence of illegal firearms in society. In most of the reports of robberies and burglaries[at gas stations, credit unions or commercial business places like Western Union , masked men with cutlasses and firearms,” Savarin stated.
Minister Savarin further explained that “These are driven, based on the information and evidence we have, by a desire to feed the drug trade. Persons are seeking money, goods and other articles to exchange for money to buy drug and when they are armed with firearms, it emboldens them enough to impose themselves on people and to confront people in their homes, on the beach, in their offices and other places.”
Therefore, says Minister Savarin, it is imperative that drug abuse and trafficking and illegal firearms be eradicated in the Dominican society.
“If we are able to remove the illegal firearms from our society it will, to a significant extent, reduce the incidents of violent crime. Also, if we are able to disrupt the drug trade completely so that narcotics are not available in the society, then addicts will be weaned away from those addictions and the drive to find money at all costs to be able to purchase these narcotic would be removed. Then we would see a significant reduction in the incidents of violent crime in Dominica.”
Minister Savarin also reiterated government’s pledge to provide the resources necessary for the enhancement of the police force.
That meeting also included admonishment to police officers to maintain proper decorum as law enforcement officers.