Bandits will never control sections of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, as is the case in some countries, says the senior police officer in charge of crime-fighting in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Acting Assistant Commissioner of Police Trevor “Buju” Bailey made the assertion on Hot 97 FM on Thursday, even as he acknowledged that the influence of the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force varies in various parts of the country.
“There will never be a day when bandits will lay claim to any turf to say this is our and we let in who we want and we let out who we want. That will never happen in St. Vincent and the Grenadines,” said Bailey, who is a seasoned detective.
He noted that it is said that that has happened in some Caribbean countries.
“We hear of areas in some countries where that is said to have happened. But that is a different land space. This is St. Vincent and the Grenadines. We will not allow that to happen,” Bailey said.
He responded to the view that some members of the public respect more officers from some units of the police force than they do others.
Bailey pointed out that each police officer in the country has the same power and authority.
“Who raises the bar for some and lowers it for others is what we accept,” Bailey said, adding, “Some police officers allow things to slip out of control right under their nose.”
To illustrate, he said:
“If I take a uniformed police [officer] who is in regular uniform — the grey shirt, the blue pants with the white stripe — and I put him downstairs your business place, the guys at [the bar] will drink two booze, will start to get under his skin.
“Take him tomorrow morning and put him in a Black Squad (Rapid Response Unit) uniform and they humble themselves. But it is the same individual. But the question is, if he is in grey and [blue], why can’t he say to the guys there and then, ‘Guys, stop that’?” Bailey said.
The Black Squad is a tactical unit of the police force and, unlike officers in grey and blue, all of its members are armed when on duty.
Bailey said he did not agree that every police officer in the country should be armed.
He gave an example of how police officers could attain the same means — such as issuing a traffic ticket — by using different methods, such as not attempting to pull drivers from vehicles and thereby escalating a situation.