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KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, Jun 26, CMC – Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves has sought to distance his administration from a policy adopted by the police as it relates to the accreditation of media workers in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

“I don’t know if the press thinks that we should have some agency to do some accreditation but the truth of the matter is this, you have freedom of the press, freedom of expression in this country and freedom of expression includes freedom of the press,” Prime Minister Gonsalves said.

Earlier this year, Assistant Superintendent of Police, Jonathan Nicholls, who is also head of the Public Relations and Complaint Department of the police, said that freelance journalist, Kenton X. Chance, who is also the founder of the local website, I-Witness News, would not be placed on a mailing list to receive public information notices (PINs) from the police.

“Well, I am the Minister of National Security and I answer your questions all that time …” the Prime Minister said, adding seemingly light-heartedly that he has not visited I-Witness News since Chance took a brief hiatus in May.

Chance, who has had more than 10 years experience as a journalist and is the holder of a degree in journalism and mass communication, has worked for local, regional and international media organisations.

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The senior police officer suggested that Chance write to the Commissioner of Police, Keith Miller, requesting that he be allowed to receive the PINs.

But when he was quizzed on the issue at a news conference, Prime Minister Gonsalves said he has always had an open relationship with the media, adding “if they (journalist) ask me something that I don’t want to answer or I don’t think is prudent at the time to answer or that I don’t know the answer to, I say it and this is what I expect that everybody will do”.

But he also sought to determine the reasons behind the questions on the police-media relationship.

“Has a need arisen for this? What is the purpose? Why you say that,” he asked, noting that he is not aware that “I don’t know if he (Nicholls) speaks for the Commissioner of Police in this regard”.

3 replies on “PM distances his administration from police position on media”

  1. I do not think or believe their is any move made by the police without the sanction of Gonsalves. Because if they do something he doesn’t approve of, their arse will be grass.

    I am sure if someone in the police did something he didn’t approve of that would be straightened up immediately.

    So I believe if information is still being withheld from IWN its because Gonsalves says so.

  2. He may say its not him but I believe it is.

    Remember when the government valuer put a ridicules low valuation on Marcus De Freitus land and buildings, it was not he it was the valuer.

    Remember when Bigga Biggs had his quarry license revoked, it was not he, it was the planners.

    Remember when the spraying for balck sigatoka was not carried out because of money shortage, it was not he it was a little man working in the ministry, yet he is the minister of finance.

    Remember when all the port policemen are laid off, its not he its the Port Authority.

    Remember when the teachers got a dodgy contract which was unconstitutional and therefore unenforceable, he said he only signed it as a witness, he later said he and everyone else that signed it knew at the time it was unconstitutional and unenforceable, it wasn’t his fault, it was the others.

    Remember when the three criminal policemen were given their jobs back, he said it was not him it was the police chief, yet he is in charge of the chief and the chief is subservient to him, because he is the Minister of National Security.

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