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The Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (RSLPF) can expect some changes to the institution. The Police Complaints (Amendment) Bill was passed in the House of Assembly on Tuesday, allowing for a new unit to investigate complaints against police officers.
Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony, at the sitting of the House of Assembly, noted there have been teething problems with the existing Police Complaints Commission. This amendment hopes to restore the public confidence in the RSLPF’s ability to investigate their own.
“What is being proposed in this Bill under Clause 3 with the new subsections is that the commissioner of police, after consulting the minister, create 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.”
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 Government of Saint Lucia has been in touch with the regional authority responsible for crime. It has secured the services of police officers from Jamaica to carry out the investigations. In fact, the initial group of officers visited Saint Lucia to get a sense of the terrain and the issues; and they have now asked that the investigating team be strengthened and the team will arrive formally in St Lucia on or about November 29.”
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.
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