Looting in Dominica spooks former St. Lucia PM; wants curfew as part of hurricane planning

Businesses in Roseau were looted and vandalized after Hurricane Maria

St Lucia’s former Prime Minister Stephenson King has suggested that the widespread looting and lawlessness, which took place in Dominica after Hurricane Maria, should be used as a yardstick on the way forward as his country prepares for the 2018 Hurricane Season.

King said curfews should be considered as part of the preparation in St. Lucia for the season which begins mere weeks away in June.

“I believe Saint Lucia must take note of what transpired in Dominica,” King, who is Minister for Infrastructure told a disaster response planning meeting Saturday in St. Lucia.

The former Prime Minister said he once believed that “Dominica was one of the more civil societies in the Caribbean” but was frightened at what took place in the wake of the devastating storm last September.

“I am very frightened at what I saw in Dominica – the disorder, and if you ask our policemen who served there, they will tell you of the disorder that went on, the disrespect, the violation of public property and private property – the destruction of assets,” he stated. “When we see the level of looting very early and even throughout – almost a total breakdown of law and order, we here in St Lucia must prepare ourselves for that.”

He suggested that when the country is in a shut-down mode ahead of an approaching storm, there should be ‘some kind of curfew’ until it is determined that it can be lifted to allow members of the public to venture out.

He added that unless curfews are in place and people understand that if they venture out they can be arrested, the environment will be created in which individuals can misbehave and engage in lawlessness.

King also suggested that there should be a clarification of the term “All Clear” after the passage of a storm.

“For me, ‘all’ means all – ‘clear’ means clear,” the former prime minister declared.

Looting in Dominica after the passage of Maria has been described as ‘the second hurricane’ by the Dominica Association of Industry and Commerce (DAIC). It said its members suffered $15-million in ‘secondary losses’ due to looting, landslides and flooding.

The Dominica Business Forum has called for an inquiry into the matter “to find out the failures in the security apparatus which allowed Dominicans to turn on the private sector with such brutality.”

However, the police have said they did their best in the circumstances following the storm.

“We saw a large number of persons, rather than coming together to maintain order… were engaged in rampant looting in the city,” Deputy Police Chief Davidson Valerie has said. “The police had made all necessary efforts. Many of those persons were arrested but yet areas, where the police were unable to reach, were taken advantage of, businesses were taken advantage of.”

Stephenson King

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24 Comments

  1. Roseau River
    May 15, 2018

    Should spook law abiding citizens of Dominica as well. What occurred is unacceptable, government needs to have a better plan for keeping the peace

  2. FED
    May 15, 2018

    Folks the St Lucian PM used this not to humiliate Dominica but as an example when proper planning is not in place. The government will continue to manipulate you all until we decide to stop being ignorant.

  3. Massacre
    May 15, 2018

    For us in Dominica is , will the Dominican Government learn form the terrible mistakes of post Hurricane Maria.

  4. Annon
    May 15, 2018

    In parts of the U.S prone to hurricanes curfew is part of the drill. People are even warmer not to expect the police after wind gets past 40 mph, they will not be on the road. If I were Caricom people I would not reinvent the wheel, I’d hold consultation with folks like Florida who have been through this for best practices etc. They have wealth of experience.

  5. La Veritay
    May 15, 2018

    Former Prime Minister you said? Ok, I understand the reason for the ludicrous statement. Mr. King, let me school you and hope that you learn. Dominican society is very civil. It was before Hurricane Maria and has continued after Hurricane Maria. Do not insinuate that our society is uncivilized. As a politician and supposedly educated person, you need to find our the reason behind what happened and put the blame where it is due. The widespread looting after a hurricane is nothing new to us or even larger countries like America. The massive and uncontrolled looting which took place after hurricane Maria can be and should solely be blamed on a very inefficient police department. If you took the time to find our what transpired you would know that even police officers were part of the looting gang. The problem in Dominica has nothing to do with post hurricane. It has everything to do with security failure. Many businesses were spared damage and the police stood by and watched!

    • La Veritay
      May 15, 2018

      They did nothing to prevent the looting. Our society has become one which does not respect the laws and constitution of Dominica as per leadership. If the police had contained the situation, it would never happen. If you want to prepare St. Lucia, ensure that their police service is efficient. Post hurricane Maria, we had RSS officers who were totally appalled at the lack of respect for police officers. There was a shooting partly due to disobeying the commands of a foreign police. So please do not make generalized statements claiming that we are uncivilized. If laws are not upheld, lawlessness will prevail. This does not mean our society is not civil. I would greatly appreciate an apology to the people of Dominica and a retraction of this statement. You may revise it and clarify. Thanks.

  6. anonymous2
    May 14, 2018

    When people lose everything and have no shelter, food or water, some lose their minds and go on rampages. They compromise whatever ethics they ever had. This happens in societies where there is no cohesion and it is everyone for themselves, as it now is in present day DA.

  7. Hurricane Skerrit
    May 14, 2018

    Skerrit said last week that when he retires from politics he will become a preacher but I humbly differ because preachers are supposed to be examples of righteousness and Skerrit is an example of UNrighteousness. However, I strongly suggest that when he should open a looting school to teach people how to NOT prepare for a storm, which would undoubtedly result in looting. Let’s not forget days before Maria, while Dr. Fontaine and others were on Q95 warning people to prepare fora dangerous Maria, Skerrit was on the other station telling them that it is going to be a short storm and no need to stockpile food, water and other hurricane supply. That I afraid was the catalyst for all the looting.

  8. Looters and shooters
    May 14, 2018

    At least the former PM wants his people to learn from the mistakes and failure of our government to ensure that things are put in place to prevent them from happening in St. Lucia. That’s very good advice I must say. However, I bet you Skerrit learnt nothing from his own failure and mistake and I bet you if we were to be visited by a storm this year the mistakes would be even worse because not one single thing has been put in place 18 days before the next hurricane season. But then again the looting that took place in Dominica was not the usual looting we often hear about. Our looting was legalized and blessed by those put in place to protect us. Our looting was more devastating than Maria itself. But then again had it not been for our looters maybe world bank would not have assisted us like they did. In our case the looting was to make our case stronger.

  9. An Evil Government
    May 14, 2018

    It would have been nice if the former St Lucia’s was saying to follow Dominica’s good example of a well organized response team that saved lives, protected properties and showed unity during Maria, but alas! It’s the opposite; it’s about avoiding the failures of Dominica. How sad. A really sad day and sad week for Dominica and Dominicans. Last week we got another blow when one of our citizens and a very very very good friend of our PM begged for mercy because of his corruption according to NY times https://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/09/30/nyregion/chinese-magnate-is-accused-of-lying-about-millions-in-cash-he-brought-to-us.html

  10. jazz53
    May 14, 2018

    Wow! A Brother always have to find a way to put down another Brother ,long before Dominica this has happened globally. But of course, he had to use Dominica as his example!!!.

  11. My bad
    May 14, 2018

    Wow! Dominica is the example for something bad in the Caribbean! Will we ever be an example for something good? I guess yes but when Skerrit, the foreign PM will be gone

    • Irma
      May 14, 2018

      As usual you Dominicans choose to ignore the message and shoot the messenger instead.

  12. Man bite dogs
    May 14, 2018

    Who the bloody hell this idiot think he is or where has he been, look guy no disrespect to you in a situation like this looting is never far away it could be UK, USA, Caribbean or where ever you name it in this world, if you have no idea of what you on about keep your fat mouth shut, we have got one call Lennox Linton, we don’t want another,I personally don’t like looters some guys i know was trying something but my gun shots had those scumbags on the run.

  13. May 14, 2018

    Why not? learn from other people’s mistakes, that’s all we got in D/ca are mistakes and more mistakes :-D :-D :-D

  14. jy
    May 14, 2018

    If nobody’s being held accountable for the looting that took place, than whats stopping it from happening again?

  15. Dominican Passports
    May 14, 2018

    Looting in Dominica was the most joy I’ve evr seen on Dominicans face, I should know I was there! Quite an exicting time, and seeing everybody working together to “gather supplies, if you vex you wasn’t there :lol: :lol: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

    • anonymous2
      May 14, 2018

      That is the unfortunate mentality that prevails in DA……entitlement to other peoples’ things.

  16. Pas toutes D/cien aveg
    May 14, 2018

    Almost forgot to remind U. Ur friend & fellow politician who was assisted in elbowing out the stalwats of the leadership of the Original DLP by foremost Sr Counsels and other psuedo DLP-ites who are now advisors and they know selves) That friend told us a few yrs ago know law no constitution…………………………….
    .D/cans took it to the next level during the last hurricane. They basically told us to hell with civility.It’s survival now. Don’t know if you can( sixe ,age , pride may prevent you. But let’s imagine St.Lucia (God willing it does not) St.Lucia having a grade like what hit DA You would loot ur mother’s kitchen. St.Lucia like Da is no longer civil. Like it was 50yrs ago. when U were a little lad.

  17. Asaka W.
    May 14, 2018

    We sure hope that Dominica will also do the same and ensure that there is better planning for the upcoming Hurricane season. We must all be proactive.

  18. Pas toutes D/cien aveg
    May 14, 2018

    The former Prime Minister said he once believed that “Dominica was one of the more civil societies in the Caribbean” but was frightened at what took place in the wake of the devastating storm last September.
    Dear Mr King Try your hand at a Hurricane horror Novel like your close name sake Steven King I suggest. smh. This is a clear indicator why you are now holding the portfolio U do today. You are out dated /out of touch about Caribbean civility in the 21st century. That was Da of the 60’s U are thinking about.
    St.Lucia can and will implode sooner or later she does not need a hurricane

  19. jihan
    May 14, 2018

    Mr.King your being quite honest,Dominica has no law and respect anymore,You have a leader that does not hold up the law so the citizens decide to break all the laws with no repercussions.

    • Man bite dogs
      May 14, 2018

      Jihan, jihad, which ever you are also a loser when that mad man Linton, stop being a notty old man then Dominica will be back to normal again as we knew it, Lennox Linton has not a clue Linton must Go Pappy is a much better bet to lead workers idiot party.

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