On February 8, I went to make a report at the CID Department in Castries about some suspicious and alarming emails that I received from an anonymous person.
I was sent there by officers of Central Police Station after asking for advice on who can help deal with this matter.
Someone had created a fake email using my name to hide their identity, and forwarded to me some threatening words. I explained to the CID officer the particulars of the matter and all she said was “someone will call you to investigate the matter and take your statement”.
I received one phone call that same afternoon from that CID police officer, to ask where I live. Two days passed and I didn’t hear a thing from anyone so I called the department to inquire about the status of the investigation and to my surprise another police officer indicated that there is no record of the matter. Not in their system, not in their books, and I was told to return to CID to speak to the officer I initially made the report too.
Of course the question I conjured was: must I be shot by a stalker, or be hit by a vehicle and crippled to have my matter taken seriously?
Nonetheless, I couldn’t go to CID, not until the following Wednesday which was exactly seven days later. I proceeded with a great degree of calm and indicated that I was there last week to make a report about some threatening emails that I received and I would like to follow up etc. Once again they have no record of my complaint. So they proceeded to call the officer who I originally dealt with.
My senses were then awoken by a loud expletive from a police officer speaking to a man who appeared to be raising his voice because the officer was seemingly passive about his request.
“Know who you F*****ing talking too”. Don’t raise your f****ing voice at me; “you f****ing mad man” were only some of the few lines darted at the man by the officer. My ears stood up in utter disbelief and my mind found serious difficulty processing this gross lack of professionalism.
The phone call concerning my matter had ended now, and the police sat in her chair and “hollas” at me saying “Go to Gros Islet Police Station to make your report because that’s where you were when you read the emails. I immediately shook my head and said please don’t tell me this is happening right now.
First of all I waited seven days to allow the police to call me as they promised. I didn’t know the intention of the perpetrator and I could have been dead by then. I never received a follow-up call to tell me to go to Gros islet!
Secondly, How ridiculous is it that I’m now in Castries and rushing to make this report to CID there, and I am being sent back to Gros-Islet because I read an email on my phone while standing in Gros-Islet? I immediately posed the question to the female officer who had just hollered at me: “I was in Timbuktu and I received an email are you telling me that I must go to Timbuktu and make the report even if I live near Castries and we have no idea who the emails are coming from?”
The police officer then very unprofessionally shouts at me saying, “YES! If you were in Timbuktu and you received your email on your phone you go to Timbuktu to make your report!”
I found difficulty processing this rationale. The fact is I received more than one email and I could have been anywhere when I read those emails on my phone.
The RSPF is saying to you that if you receive a threatening text or email via your mobile device, and at the time of receiving the text or the email you are in VF on a bus, or on a plane between St Lucia and Africa, or dreaming on a catamaran near the Pitons, you will be sent to back to a police station closer to where you received the email even if they will send the matter back to the IT Department in Castries to trace those emails.
Almost all emails are synced to your mobile device. The RSLPF has a unit that deals with cybercrime. Can you imagine the inconvenience this would create? If I have no connections with VF, I wasn’t physically assaulted in VF, I only received an email one day in VF and on another day I’m in Soufriere, I cannot go to CID in Castries to report the matter because I will be sent to Soufriere or VF to give a statement. Pure unadulterated rubbish.
The afternoon ended in a heated exchange between myself and the officers, where one officer came up to my face as though ready to beat the crap out of me telling me to leave the premises or else. Sadly I was unperturbed and was relentless in my pursuit to make my frustrations heard. I never used one expletive but I was loud in expressing disillusionment because the police stations are there to help the public, not to impede justice through gross laziness, inefficiency and complacency.
I am a tax-paying citizen and if this is the gross inefficiency that future lawyers and current lawyers have to work with I can only imagine the gaping hole that exists in our justice system presently.
I always hold police officers in high regard because I believe that they are supposed to help, however this sort of attitude and ridiculous policy must change or else we will become the mockery of the Western Hemisphere and by extension the world.
– Joseph D.