(caribbean360) Sharp knives, cutlasses, scissors, screwdrivers and small bags of marijuana and crack cocaine are not unusual seizures for law enforcers in St Lucia. The problem is, these drugs and weapons are increasingly being confiscated from the bags of the nation’s students.
Determined to arrest the alarming trend, the Community Relations Branch (CRB) of the Royal St Lucia Police Force has served notice that children who commit any serious criminal acts will be prosecuted.
Yesterday, police laid bare the disturbing finds, which were seized during random searches conducted in 2015 and 2016.
Forty-seven knives, including pen knives; five cutlasses; 46 scissors; nine screw drivers; and 14 lighters were recovered, along with 16 marijuana sticks, thirteen five-bag portions of the drug, 104 foil wraps of marijuana, and three foil wraps with crack cocaine.
The offenders were, however, spared prosecution and placed in a rehabilitative programme coordinated by their schools.
Officer Ted King of the CRB told reporters that students as early as Form One age were involved.
“The offenders and victims are getting younger and younger at an alarming rate, which is a cause for concern,” he said.
King suggested that adults may be encouraging children in deviant behavior, and he warned that anyone introducing students to the sale and use of drugs would face the full brunt of the law.
He said police would soon be rolling out a crime prevention initiative dubbed School Crime Watch.
“We will ensure that our young people are not taken down the path of destruction or to a point of no return,” King said.
“We will continue our proactive approach to assist and guide you. The onus is on you to absorb the message.”