There’s a growing culture in St Lucia, where criminals are reportedly trying to rope children into criminal activities. That’s according to St Lucia’s Home Affairs Minister Dr. Virginia Albert-Poyotte.
Dr. Poyette said vulnerable children in Castries are the targets of criminals, especially after and during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“You notice that during COVID, a lot of our young people were idle. A lot of our children were not in school, and therefore some criminal elements are trying to recruit them into criminal activities and offering them some money. So that is a breeding ground for criminals and therefore, we are seeing that upsurge in crime,” she told Cabinet on Monday.
Adding, “criminal elements see the children as very vulnerable. They will offer them money, and then they will arm them with guns and the children do not have fear. We have to pull them back,” Dr. Poyotte declared.
She said resources must be put in place to fight against this “ill”.
“As a parliamentary rep. I give a lot. The government is giving a lot to support parents to keep their children in school. We notice it is a lot of young people who are coming into Bordelais,” she added.
St Lucia had a homicide rate of 40 per 100,000 people in 2021, a similar rate to Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica, and making it one of the countries with the highest homicide rates in the region St Lucia has recorded 25 killing during the first five months of 2022.