COMMENTARY: ‘More corruption’

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COMMENTARY: ‘More corruption’
A police patrol van

Dear Sir,

Just when I thought there would be little to grab my attention other than the weather down in the countryside, and concentrate on gathering the family for some good wine and food for the Christmas season, there comes an unfamiliar taste and more troubling news from the island of St Lucia.

The Government Information Service (GIS) headlines read “New Investigation Unit for RSLPF”. But guess what? That was only the precursor. The real news was yet to come.

Reading the GIS bulletin left me with very little room but to redirect my farm duties to dissect what was written.

The GIS bulletin began with the line “The RSLPF can expect some changes to its institution. The Police Complaints (Amendment) Bill was passed in the House of Assembly on Tuesday, November 19, 2013, which allows for a new unit to investigate complaints against police officers”. Whatever that meant sounded to me more like a code for more vagaries in the Bill and perhaps added to the constitution of St Lucia for skilful lawyers to poke at later?

What followed I was not prepared for. What is being proposed in this Bill under Clause 3 with the new subsections is that the Commissioner of Police, after consulting the minister, creates a special unit within the police force charged with the responsibility of investigating complaints coming to them, initially of course from the Police Complaints Commission.

Seriously, this action is a carbon copy in a more glorified format of what it intends to replace.

Now here comes the probable unsoundness of this decision: “The Government has also enlisted the help of the Jamaican police to investigate the RSLPF. This comes on the heels of the United States withdrawal of resources to the RSLPF after claims of human rights violations”.

The question many are asking is why the Jamaican police?

Is St Lucia perhaps preparing for a “Dudus Coke” episode? And how will such a move favour the US government’s return to normalcy with the RSFLP and the international community?

What stunned me most was giving details of the latest news to my Saint Lucian wife. She looked at me with bulging eye and remarked, “More corruption”. It was a rare moment where I had no counter to offer!

My lips were sealed! But just enough to mumble, “Wee, mama.” Will the prime minister hire Mexican police next? They may even be cheaper than the Jamaican police.

The bulletin concluded with a stunning line that read, “The Prime Minister says the key to the success of the new investigation unit will be fearless and independent leadership. Meanwhile the Production Orders Bill was also passed which now requires the police to seek a search order from a magistrate before entering private or commercial property.”

Honestly, this is further semantics that compound the extremities of legislative, enforcement capabilities and leadership. These developments worry me to the point that, after reading this news item, I had to comfort myself that the prime minister’s decisions deserves a lot of prayers and the Holy Ghost’s blessings.

Because it continues to amaze me the level to which the Saint Lucian prime minister, with his intelligent legal capabilities continues to flirt with the intelligence of a people; the indulgence of their tax revenue and unfounded resolve to decision making.

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29 COMMENTS

  1. The reality is such that the RSLPF needs to continue public-officer relationships. Followed by the execution of proper law enforcement; a commissioner that has the authority to manage a 1,000 man unit, with confidence and reverence, a 24-hour operation, without operational interference from the political establishment and away from a Public Service Commission that is arcane, and with the support of a functioning legal and judicial system.

    I would also add that the prime minister is best advised to establish a truly independent special investigative unit (SIU) outside of the RSLPF that is made up of intelligence professionals, private investigators, with legal support (attorneys), and adequate legislative authority to carry out its work -- independent of the commissioner of police and political prying.

    This SIU would be called up to take over any crime scene and investigation, any time there is a fatal police shooting or extraordinary matter that involves the police within or external of their walls. The SIU would also take over the responsibility of investigating complaints from the public and Police Complaints Commission (thereafter disbanding the Police Complaints Commission). Participate in Coroner’s inquests to help solve numerous pending cases that hold a dark cloud over law and order and the island’s reputation.

    It would be helpful if the prime minister would speed up the legislative agenda to help adjudicate the hundreds of outstanding cases by allocating resources to revamp the legal and judicial system. Re-commission the forensic lab with supporting legislation.

    Saint Lucia can ill afford such a decision that is ancient in thought and hinges on the federation era of “big islanders whipping down small island people.” After all, the British left us a good police force, the Americans help out with training and their hard earned dollars. I would like to enjoy in my latter years an island where milk, bananas and honey is plentiful, at the least and not blood, fear and turmoil.

    Currently, Jamaicans for Justice (JFJ) are calling for the resignation of the police commissioner of Jamaica, where in 2013 so far, “the police have blown out the brains of over 200 young men.”

    Fellow citizens that I have consulted on the matter make reference to Saint Lucia’s use of Jamaican police to investigate the RSLPF as a “continuance of an existence of non assurance; stonewalling and the creation of auxiliary bureaucracy. The extension of ‘no confidence’ in law and order! And a stigma that may draw the island closer and closer to the status of a rogue state.”

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  2. I am not suprised at such statements like those from "Gids", "Anonymous" and the rest who think that things must be done without question. With what is left of my balance leaves me more confused as "confused." In case you guys don't know and i have previously stated most of you ARE functionally illiterate.
    Facts:
    1. The Government of Jamacia have abandoned this measure where police investigate police. They have now opted for INDICOM where independent persons do the investigating.

    2. We are therefore importing a measure which has failed to be carried out by the people who have witnessed its failure.

    3. We have shafted a measure which have PROVEN RESULTS illustrated by these same people who have abandoned the former measure.

    Now folks any other person who supports this measure like "Gids" and others belongs to the functionally illiterate grouping. It means that they cannot arrive at decisions based on material facts. These people are devoid of the faculties of proper reasoning.

    People love making references to Derek and Allen but fail to make the distiction that they acheived outside St. Lucia. Lord alone know what would have become of them if they were left at the mercy of poor illiterate population. Why did'nt those esteemed noble laurates leave their works with this country at our Archives so that we can appreciate their works?

    It is because when they speak they are challenged or made fun of by an illiterate population unconcerned by the consequence of their predicament. They are only educated by the mist which falls to the ground when the politicians decide to see how far they can spit in a spittin competition.

    I therefor challenge any literate person who is of a different view.

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  3. well said Gids the attitude of my fellow Lucian is sickening and frightening it appears the general attitude is for government to spoon feed everyone while no one seem to favour any decisions made by any ruling govt in stlucia. eg vat tax is the worse decision any govt has taken made in stlucia how can a nation be so clouded in their thinking and actions. stlucia has no natural resources unlike other Caribbean islands but ppl expect the govt to provide for everyone where would the money crome from my friends. perhaps they should continue borrowing from china and the IMF but keep in mind you have to pay back when you borrow. you folks need to stop complaining and support your local leaders to continue the development process.

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  4. I explained that the jamaican police are under as much scrutiny as is the stlucia police force and the jamaican public want the chief to resign. why would we want a suspect organisation handling this matter?

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    • Perhaps when they advertised for persons to investigate extra-judicial killings they asked for "relevant experience".

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  5. I am so sickened by our small island mentality, why must we as a people always put down our own. Think of it, we have two noble laureates and guess what, we even put them down too. We are a people who don't appreciate what we have. We ask, why Jamaica police?

    Am I to believe that the best only comes fron the US, Canada or England? Consider this, who do we think investigate the police misconduct in the US police service? Yes!! Internal affairs, and they are police officers.

    The way we conduct ourselves in this country, one would believe that every police officer in the police force are corrupt. I know of many police officers who are not. There is this saying show me your police force/service and I will tell you what your society is made of.

    What this is say is simply what we have as a police force is what we as a society is made up of. These men and women did not come from putter of space, but the are from amongst us. They are their fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters.

    We are a nation who complains about everything, not once have I heard we comes up with a better and binding solutions. We see politics in everything. Never wanting to do anything for ourselves but rather always asking "What is the government doing for me?" People let us united and be one people, one nation, one belief. Let us come together to work for the better good of our island Saint Lucia.

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    • Hey Gids. you missed the point all together. what does nobel laureates have to do with it anyway. we talking here about having the rats guarding the cheese

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      • Hi Guava Jelly I can assure you that I did not miss the point. My question to you is what better people to investigate than those who it is all edged to be involved in corruption to investigate corruption. My point with the Noble Laureates are this when they were chosen we Saint Lucians complained. As I said before we as a people need to stop complaining and ofer solutions. I find that this is something we are lacking in our island, and that's from all political parties.

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        • Gids does that really make sense to you? If you were tasked with the responsibility of investigating your comrades to a point where they might be stripped of their jobs or maybe even convicted of a crime would you see it through to the end? Hmm come to think of it you might want to take the moral high ground and claim that you would, but honestly you think those officers would? Police investigating police will never work! Makes no sense

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  6. why would we want to get Jamaican police to investigate our police when it is common knowledge that the jamaican people want the head of their police force to resign for activities similar to those our police force is accused of, SHAME ON YOU LACOBS DITTO KIENNY>
    That's what I call transparency. AWA The americans bound to see through that.

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  7. @ frustrated lucian..i get ur point..smh.... lucians talk as if st. lucia is the worse place on earth..

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  8. when the government isn't taking action y'all complain when they do y'all what complain even more smh.. what the hell do lucians want? i know to know when will we be satisfied or whether the complaining will just go on and on

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  9. quite a farmer with words you are mate. as with your previous article there is nothing of substance just a lot of babbling BS without making much sense.and those who think you are brilliant are as empty as you.

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  10. I personally think a group of young men and women should be recurited for that special unit.We cant have exsisting officers transfer to that unit. corruption will never stop in this country if so be the case.

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  11. I have been living outside st.Lucia for several years. My children have never visited st.Lucia and it is the news of violents, corruption, government by government and not by the people that's gives me no interest in returning home; Something I long to do, but could only dream of until I hear happy news.

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  12. I am confused as to what exactly it is that you are appose too. The fact that its and idea proposed by the slp administration under Kenny Anthony? The idea of an internal body of the Police force investigating police complaints? Or the fact that a the proposed unit will be headed by a jamaican??

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    • if u notice @Bhalistic...this move cannot be called an "idea". on the contrary as with anything else, the so called government leader and their lame consultants simply copy tid bits from any country and attempt to make it law, even if it isnt practical in our environment. Like Rick Wayne would say "they piss in our eyes and call it rain" , some of us are too drunken by the colours red and yellow to notice...#sad&pathetic

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  13. weee mama indeed... sighhhhhh
    lord heaven father, To me by now nothing shud surprise me wen it comes to them dam idiots.

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