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Commissioner of Police, Colin John speaking in the video statement on Saturday, Feb. 11, 2023.
Commissioner of Police, Colin John speaking in the video statement on Saturday, Feb. 11, 2023.
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Commissioner of Police, Colin John says the police force will be “seeking an audience with the relevant authorities” about decisions made by the magistracy.

“Not to speak on specific cases but to speak on general concerns as regard the police and the magistracy, to see where we can ensure law enforcement and inclusive of the magistrate courts, that the citizens of St. Vincent and Grenadines, while not trampling on someone’s rights, they receive their justice,” John said on Saturday.

He was speaking alongside Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves in a joint video statement after a meeting between Gonsalves and the top ranks of the police force to discuss crime in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

“Because justice is not only for the criminals. Justice is for the victim or the virtual complainants as well. So, we will be seeking an audience with the magistracy to deal with issues of that nature,” said John, a lawyer and former deputy director of public prosecution.

Speaking earlier, Gonsalves said some decisions in the magistrate’s courts “puzzle the police and puzzle right-thinking citizens.

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“Of course, the judiciary is independent of the police and of the executive but it would have been strange for the kind of discussion which we had that that discussion about some decisions would not have occurred,” said Gonsalves, who is a lawyer and minister of legal affairs.

“As I pointed out in that regard, we cannot interfere with those things. There’s a judicial process but I just want the public to know that the discussion ranged far and wide touching on the issue of citizen security,” he said.

The high-level meeting came as SVG has recorded nine homicides this year, including three in just the past week. Two of the nine homicides are people shot and killed by police in the line of duty.

The high homicide rate so far this year follows a record 42 in 2022.

John said policing is very dynamic and the constabulary always has to ensure that it assesses its performance.

“The year 2022 was not a very good year for the police,” the top cop said, adding that the homicide count is not a proud record for the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force.

“Hence, we went back to the drawing board. We are still going back to the drawing board to look at areas in which we can ensure that that record is not repeated and that we police St Vincent and the Grenadines in a more effective and efficient manner; more specifically, issues of homicides in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

The commissioner said that the police force has looked at community collaboration on crime prevention, detection of crime and ensuring that the confidence in the police is improved.

He said some people may say that confidence in the police has to be restored “because we have persons who may say that they have lost confidence in the police.

“So, we have to, in the cases where they have lost confidence, make sure that we make a concerted effort that the confidence of the public can be restored in the police.

“We have done some practical things such as increasing patrols in hotspot areas. We are ensuring that this is continued. We are building [the] relationship with the public,” John said.

He said the police force is steadfast and is ensuring that it redoubles its efforts “to ensure that we present a more professional police product to the public, and that 2023 would be a better and safer year for the citizens of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and its visitors”.

The commissioner thanked the prime minister “for affording us an audience and for us to discuss issues of crime and national security at a forum like this where persons can give of their wealth of knowledge and experience so that we can ensure that St. Vincent and the Grenadines is safer”.

Meanwhile, Gonsalves noted that the EC$1.2 billion budget approved for 2023 allocated EC$42 million to the police force.

“That doesn’t include the Coast Guard or Fire … This is in recurrent expenditure and some of the initiatives may require some resources additional to those. If that is the case, so be it,” the prime minister said.

3 replies on “Magistrates’ decisions ‘puzzle right-thinking citizens’; COP wants meeting ”

  1. Set up stop an searched d search it is very important to do so n every vehicle must be searched thoroughly you have sufficient police men/ females too and you set out these road blocks with ST at least 9/10 police men and each block n to make it easier you get stickers n place on every vehicle that has searched at these checked points , there you checked these vehicles for everything license , insurance every thing

  2. So Kenton, what is the problem Ralph and John is having with the magistracy? This issue must be brought before the people so they can get involved and know about the crime environment.
    That’s the reason I said this conversation was in the clouds and nobody could follow or know the issues. Ask for an interview with somebody, anybody.

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