Commissioner of Police Colin John. (iWN file photo)

In recent weeks, several allegations of police abuse have been published by local media outlets on social media. All of these alleged incidents involved instances where the police was accused of physically abusing a citizen with whom he/she came into contact. The general public is hereby notified that matters of these nature are of concern to the hierarchy of the RSVGPF and every effort will be made to bring about a justifiable resolution to them.

Primary among the duties of every member of the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force (RSVGPF) is to “protect and serve” every citizen of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) and its visitors. Police officers are trained professional in the field of policing; and while the Police Act and the Criminal Procedure Code of St. Vincent and the Grenadines gives the police special powers and authority, that power and authority must be used within the confines of the laws of SVG. Police officers, therefore, must not only enforce the law but equally, uphold the law as well.

Police officers are never trained to use excessive force to deal with any situation — instead, police officers are trained and encouraged to only use the force that is necessary to de-escalate every situation they are faced with. That is why all police officers upon enlistment into the police force, undergo training in use of force, customer service/customer relations, communications and community policing strategies among others. One such workshop was held during the period March 5-6, 2019. It is the hope of the hierarchy of the RSVGPF that every police officer will exemplify/exhibit the required level of professionalism, judgement and character at all times when dealing with the public.

The very nature of police work at times can, put the police and the public they serve at odds. But what is most important is for the police and the public to work together and have a mutually beneficial relationship that will result in not just safer communities but increased trust and cooperation. 

To this end, the assurance is hereby given to the public that all allegations reported against police officers to the relevant authority will be investigated on their merits so that justice can be done based on the facts presented.

5 replies on “RSVGPF statement on allegations of police abuse”

  1. Urlan Alexander says:

    Whenever a situation gets the public atrention a statement is made a d thats it. The gullible public forgets aftee 9 days and the cycle continues. Watch ah country!

    1. Rawlston Pompey says:

      SPEAKING NEVER CHANGES CULTURAL MINDSET

      In some regional jurisdictions, allegations against police officers are initially met with ‘…Suspension at half pay’ pending the outcome of the investigations.

      Then officers would know that a Commissioner means business.

      The Commissioner shall know that it is not sufficient to say that ‘…investigated facts would be presented for justice to be done,’ but shall show by decisive action that the Police Service is ‘…not a haven for rogue or brutal cops.’

      It is even laughable that the Commissioner should even mention a two-day training course (5-6 March, 2019), respecting the use of force.

      Two days could never be adequate time to change an apparent cultural mindset or to eliminate from the minds of those prone to exact violence upon the hapless and defenceless citizens, that the use of force shall not be the first resort.

      By March 7, 2019, most participants on that training course would have forgotten, as may have been reasonably inferred from the ‘…recent public complaint of Police beatings.’

      While the Commissioner speaks to idealism and training, he may have fallen woefully short in informing the citizenry that not only shall police officers ‘…Protect and serve the citizens,’ but at all material times, in the discharge of their duties, shall respect the rights of every citizen- man, woman and child, including law-breakers to ‘…liberty; …equality and justice.’

      These have always been part of the ‘…Law Enforcement Code of Ethics.’

  2. Across the Miles says:

    I read the latest two reports – one about the woman visiting from Canada abused by a female officer, and the other about the gentleman who allegedly stole some tannias (I think). What I would like to see is individuals who are abused by the police bringing criminal action against the officer and also legal action against the Force and the abusive police officer. Get a money judgment against the Force and the individual. Get a criminal conviction against the Officer. Don;t be afraid to stand up for your constitutional rights. Maybe then and only then the offending Officers will be brought up on disciplinary charges and/or relieved of his duties. But this type of mentality in the Force seriously needs adressing.

    1. Dear Across the Miles, you are actually not aware of how the police force in SVG operates. From the top cop down has been at some time accused of brutality against people accused or during questioning.

      Nothing ever come from public complaints, in facts officers are more likely to get promoted than demoted.

      People come to court with their faces pulped black and blue and the magistrate does nothing, no questions, nothing.

      The whole process is a form of torture and crimes against humanity.

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