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As part of its ongoing campaign to deter as well as detect criminal activity and the disregard for traffic laws and regulations, the Central Division of the Royal St. Lycia Police Force continues to embark on several planned operations, including searches, sweeps, and traffic checkpoints. The operations are tailored to react effectively to a range of situations, including armed suspects, fleeing suspects, and other actions which seek to obstruct or otherwise resist the intervention of officers. In executing those operations, the highest regard for human rights has been maintained. Between the months of July 2023 and early September 2023, investigations were launched into nine reports of armed robbery occurring within the division, the weapon of choice being firearm.

On Wednesday, September 6, 2023, three persons were arrested in relation to the aforementioned offenses, and stolen items recovered. Charges are expected to be preferred soon. During the past two weeks, close to six hundred traffic tickets have been issued, and a number of vehicles, including motorcycles impounded for various infringements.

The Royal St. Lucia Police Force is also investigating two separate police shooting incidents which occurred during a police checkpoint along the Malgretoute main road in the quarter of Micoud during the evening of Thursday, September 7, 2023. In one instance, two motorcycles plowed through the checkpoint after the riders failed to adhere to signals and instructions to stop, placing the lives and safety of officers at risk. Notwithstanding the actions of the police, including the use of firearms, one of the riders was able to escape by fleeing into the nearby shrubbery after ditching the motorcycle, while the other was apprehended and taken into custody. Both motorcycles were impounded. Moments later, three motorcycles again sped through the checkpoint, disregarding the signal from officers to stop.

Officers took evasive action, including resorting to the use of firearms to protect themselves from harm or death. All three cyclists were able to evade the efforts of the police. With the exception of the apprehended rider, the others remain unidentified. The Major Crimes Unit of the Royal St. Lucia Police Force is investigating the death of Kendall Hippolyte of Desruisseaux quarter of Micoud, who presented himself to one of the Islands medical institutions about 2 a.m. on Friday, September 8, 2023, with apparent gunshot injuries. He later succumbed. Investigators are exploring a possible link between his death and the incidents at the police checkpoint at Malgretoute.

The Royal St. Lucia Police Force wishes to thank the many citizens who have co-operated fully when confronted during police operations and look forward to the continued support of the public in their crime fighting efforts. To those who seek to defy the efforts of the police to continue to keep St. Lucia safe, all legal means will be employed to safeguard the lives and property of the citizenry and that of the very police officers who sacrifice their all. The executive of the Royal St. Lucia Police Force applauds all police officers for their commitment and pledges full support in the quest to maintain control in the present climate.

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