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18 January 2018

Stiffer Penalties and New Laws to be implemented - Nat'l Security Minister

By Department of Home Affairs and National Security

Minister for Home Affairs, Justice and National Security Senator the Honourable Hermingild Francis says there are some areas where the law is being disobeyed with impunity and the Government has his full support in ensuring stiffer penalties are put in place in the course of this year.

Minister Francis says many recommendations have been identified and the Attorney General’s Chambers has been working assiduously to frame the relevant bills. He says those new or reinforced laws will be pivotal to building a more equitable, just and law abiding country.

Appearing as a guest on Police Insight Monday night on MBC cable channel alongside the Deputy Commissioner of Police Milton Desir, the Minister made mention of  an intention to  have the  Domestic Violence  Act amended  to allow a third party to report domestic altercations  to the Police for action.

He also made reference to the Child Justice Bill and the Child Care, Protection and Adoption Bill which are down to come before Parliament. Meanwhile, a review of the Affiliation Act commonly referred to as the (Child Maintenance

 Order)  would allow for a ‘means test’ to be used to determine how much parents are able to pay for child support. Currently payments to mothers or custodians amount to $50.00 per week or $200.00 per month.

The  Counter-Tracking  Act of 2013 , the  Firearms Act  and  the introduction or reinforcement of  laws  that will speak to  the use of breathalyzers, radar guns and non-lethal weapons among other areas  are also being  addressed.

Minister Francis indicated that a lot more initiatives where law enforcement is concerned will be outlined when the 2018/2019 national budget is presented in April. He thanked the public who took the opportunity to call the show and make several worthwhile comments on improving the state of law enforcement in Saint Lucia.

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