Saint Lucia
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PIERRE ON IMPACS: “It’s not my baby. I didn’t create it but I will try to solve It…”

Prime Minister, Hon. Phillip J. Pierre
Prime Minister, Hon. Phillip J. Pierre

The controversial IMPACS Report has been an issue of discussion, since it came under the radar some years ago.

At a sod-turning ceremony to lay the ground work for construction of a Northern Divisional Police Headquarters, in Gros Islet, on Monday, Prime Minister Philip J Pierre noted that his administration is fully aware of the complexities and delicate nature of the issue and will endeavor to rectify the matter in due time.

The IMPACS Report revolves around the status of investigations involving police shootings, between the period 2010 – 2011. These shootings resulted in the loss of life of 12 citizens in 2011.

And according to official sources, this figure sets the record for the highest number of police shootings ever recorded in Saint Lucia in any year.

“There has been too much talk and lies and mis-information running around in this country. The IMPACS Report is not my being …,the prime minster before me had a copy of the IMPACS Report. I’m not the only one who had a copy of the IMPACS Report,” said PM Pierre.

“I am not the only one who had a copy of the IMPACS Report,” he added. “Why all suddenly the IMPACS Report has become my cross. It was there before me, it was there for the last five years …they had it for the last five years.

“All the contents of the IMPACS Report, and all the action that has to be taken on the IMPACS Report could have been done in the last five years.”

Commenting on the issue, PM Pierre noted: “I make a solemn pledge to the men and women of the Royal St Lucia Police Force (that) I will maintain the ‘separation of powers’ but I will also see what I can do …and I will try, I will not promise as I have had discussions with several people about the IMPACS Report.”

The prime minister said, he understood “the plight” of the RSLPF officers implicated in this report and “whose lives are in limbo”.

“And I can say to you, it is not easy but we are trying,” noted the National Security Minister. “And I hope that we can resolve these issues. But for the cheap and desperate politicians and their surrogates who want to use it as what they think is a whip against this government, it will not work because the people of Saint Lucia know that existed a long time before this government.”

Added PM Pierre: “It’s not my baby, I didn’t create it but I will try to solve it. The same way that I did not create the conditions under which the men and women of the Royal St Lucia Police Force operate, but I will try to solve it.

“And that’s why we’re planning (to construct) a brand-new headquarters for the Gros Islet Police Station and I am going to continue to solve the issues for the men and women of the police service.”

The matter has elicited significant publicity both at a domestic and international level based on allegations that they were extrajudicial killings by the police. Simply put, they were alleged to a great extent to be unjustified and therefore illegal.

Consequently, the Government of the United States of America imposed sanctions on the police force based on the “Leahy Law”. The shootings were cited as potentially gross violations of human rights. This resulted in the suspension of financial assistance and training to the entire Royal Saint Lucia Police Force [RSLPF] from August, 2013.

On 18th June, 2021 it was revealed that there was some level of   restoration of support to particular departments of the RSLPF.