No camouflage should be worn in public – police reiterates

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No camouflage should be worn in public – police reiterates

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Special Services Unit (SSU) Inspector Ricardo Innocent has sent out a stern reminder to all persons that the laws pertaining to military camouflage wear are still in effect.

“As it relates to camouflage the Public Order Act states clearly in Section 13 that no one should wear any camouflage material in public,” Innocent said on Police Insight on Sunday.

He also reminded that persons or groups who desire to be attired in camouflage must seek official permission from the Commissioner of Police of the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (RSLPF).

Police Public Relations Officer Zachary Hippolyte questioned whether the law attains only to the material used by police, but the SSU inspector clarified that it doesn’t matter what colour of camouflage it is.

One caller said that she witnessed police officers stripping a man of his camouflage outfit, even though he had explained to the officers that he was not aware that it is prohibited.

But the officers criticized this move, stating that this should not have occurred. The question was then asked what should been done in the case that a person is seen wearing such a material.

“What I would do is give the individual a warning not to wear camouflage and if I recall and I see that same individual, I will proceed into effecting an arrest because it is against the laws,” Innocent said.

The inspector went on to say that the police have been a bit lackadaisical when it comes to this particular law, but noted the time will come when zero tolerance will be placed on persons wearing camouflage.

It was also brought to his attention that camouflage clothes are sometimes sold, and as much as there is a law to prevent persons from wearing the material, there isn’t any law to prevent persons from selling it.

But Inspector Innocent said that while there may be a very few stores engaging in the sale of these materials, he has not come across any and suggested that there might only be a small number.

The Saint Lucia Parliament had passed legislation banning members of the public from wearing camouflage outfits similar to those worn by the police, since July of 2010.

The then Prime Minister Stephenson King, who introduced the measure, had told the House that the police force had been requesting a review of the legislation dealing with the wearing of camouflage by civilians.

It was also noted that the private sector had been importing those outfits and they were worn at carnival time or other occasions, and has become part of “the ordinary man’s dress code.”

As a result, there were occasions when one could not have distinguished the difference between a policeman and a civilian.

Persons found in contravention of that law could be faced with a heavy fine from the court. Failure to pay the fine could result in a jail sentence.

(8)(55)

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83 COMMENTS

  1. maybe they should ban regular clothes since the police sometimes wear regular clothes. let everyone walk naked that's the kind of logic this country has.

    (6)(0)

  2. smh at all of you... this is why we have problems in this country, all you talk about is how stupid the law is. whilst i agree that it is ridiculous for camouflage, not in the color of military uniforms to be outlawed, please remember people, a law is the law. so just follow it. the only laws we are not obligated to follow are those which conflict with the word of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. So get over yourselves, stop making excuses and stop complaining.

    because guess what..... all that talk and Mr. Innocent, the government and the RSLPF will still charge you if they see you walking the street with any kind of camouflage on you. Your complaints won't change a thing. Just obey the law, and stay out of jail and/or court.

    And if my comments above don't say anything to you then think of the financial side to it. Think of the money you will save if you don't go to jail or court for something as stupid as wearing camouflage clothing.

    (1)(6)

  3. really INSPECTOR you gonna jail ppl for wearing clothing ,is that the level SSU has reached wow that an issue for the RSPF in 2015 to talk about wat ppl should wear ,

    (3)(0)

  4. Ridiculous:
    It would be a human spectacles to see a dozen or so citizen walking naked because they have just been stripped of their clothing, probable walking up to the central police station to recover their clothing attire butt naked and being join by a dozen or more, seriously if Saint Lucians wants to start a nudist colony I am all for it just do it.
    One attire does not make them a criminal or a law breaker or a thug, be sensible and quit being ridiculous be careful not to undress the service personnel’s visiting your shores as you once did to me, I was unaware that such ignorance exist in Saint Lucia, I could have brought charges against your government, but some battles are just not worth it! If you want to act military develop your own brand of uniform quit copying from other nations. Camouflage are a style it’s just clothing not bombs.

    (5)(0)

  5. Wow to the ignorant st lucians. I guess guns kill people and spoons make people fat. What we need to police is crime not attire.

    (7)(1)

  6. "@ Freaking Hell". I can see that you don't know what the hell you talking about. But how could someone so blatantly lack understanding? Obviously laws are there for a reason, and in criminal law is for the protection of person and property. There is also a thin line in EVERY situation between something being lawful and unlawful and thats why the court is there. It is also obvious that Parliament passes laws. However, it is left up to the police to SPECULATE whether someone has contravened the law and thats why that they can only charge you. It is the duty of the Court to determine whether in fact the police are right or wrong. The court does that by looking at the intention with which the law was pass, example, whether is was passed deliberately that you would be denied common sense. This interpretationb can only be done using the intention in the language used by the parliamentarians when enacting the law. This is called a "purposive approach to judicial interpretation."

    So to compare that situation with a going to buy an illegal drug is absurd, because a law prohibiting the use of illicit drugs was meant to protect the individual from the damage it could inflict. Now tell me what damage could the wearing of red camos inflict. Laws are never made or to be seen as a law unto themselves because it would not be in the spirit of any human right as it would lack justification. Get that word J-U-S-T-I-fication, its all about justice. Now maybe the law to deny you common sense was a good one since it was a good reason.

    (1)(7)

  7. I have a proposal.
    If the SSU wore a crest on their camo, as they do consider it uniform, there'd be no reason to outlaw it for commoners.

    (13)(1)

  8. Flourescent orange camo gear is only useful if the battlefield is a bag of cheetos. Our SSU are a bunch of cheese puffs.

    (11)(0)

  9. This police so-called Law should be put to the House for debate. We are Patriotic citizens of the British Commonwealth .We are not in anyway a Communists country where these laws are enforced,this is a form of Dictatorship / Bullying .Preying on the weak. Is this best RSLP can do to try and curb the crime rate which in skyrocketing yearly? WE need more sensible / educated and qualified leaders to make smart and well calculated decisions instead of this Robocop attitude which tends to instill fear and disrespect in the minds and eyes of our citizens.
    Fighting Crime and keeping the peace is not an easy profession by any means.We have to once again to Educate our Police men and Women so that they will be able to make judgement calls in difficult situations even when their lives and others are threatened. Politeness / Respect / learn how to speak to others with firmness and intelligence ,these qualities can become a tool to control many potential and uncertain criminal activities scenarios..

    (9)(1)

  10. Ppl why all the drama!??? It's that very type entitlement that causes the total disregard for the law. Cuz we all feel we know what the law shud and shudnt be...It's not only SLU with this law. Why do we like to put our personal opinion of what's stupid and what's not. I'm not saying archaic laws can't be challenged...afterall we need that type of scrutiny for reform and change...however CLEARLY THE LAW IS THERE FOR A REASON! Whether it be due to past occurrences of people dressing up and committing offenses or just out of respect for those in authority...you are not SSU why wear it?

    I do not agree with stripping someone's clothing, but a warning would suffice for first time offenders.

    My friend went to Bermuda for example and she had a camo dress on her way back...she had to go into her suitcase to get a different attire cuz they would not let her board the plane.

    The open defiance on this subject is astounding. Regardless of the shade of colour or whether it's similar to or not...you are not part of the military so just avoid using it plain and simple...

    PS not because they sell weed and drugs out there you buy it right? So meme bete! Not cuz stores sell it u shud buy or it means it's OK to buy.

    Overall there should be some form of public sensitization on the subject so that citizens are more aware of the reason behind it. No one is saying 'cuz u in the attire u will commit a crime..but u just never know with all the psychos out there.

    It's in place to reduce the possibility of misuse.

    xo

    (5)(8)

    • Seriously shade or color doesn't apply. Fluorescent orange camo?????? Get outta here with this bullshit.

      (9)(0)

    • Stop talking (for lack of a better term) shit, u idiot. Misuse of what? Criminals out here everyday committing crimes in ordinary clothes, would u seek to outlaw normal civilian clothing as well? U seem to be one of the idiots who know nothing about living in a democratic society. The American Military Forces utilize various colours of camo and they still allow civilians to wear it without any trouble and their population is much higher. So idiot, what are u really getting at?

      (3)(2)

  11. i think this action should take a little time before using full force. remember st. lucia is a tourist destination and this material is worn in other countries . for example just neighbouring island martinique this material is worn like a every day outfit. so take for example one is visiting st. lucia for the first time and the only kind of material outfit he has in his bag innocent of the law , what is the circumstance going to be?. officer innocent need s to consider his law. this is stupid. your police officer uses this uniform to engage in dirty acts too. i 'M NOT SAYING THAT I DISAGREE with the law , all i'm saying is that give it some time and take the right steps to prevent problems. i know that this law exists and most time i caution people i see wearing it but remember i can reach every body. and one other thing don't used your power to increase problems in the country . use it wisely.

    (5)(0)

  12. Innocent is wrong. There is no law banning camouflage per se. This is part of the reason that stores and importers are not prevented from selling it. The Act has to be read in light of the Public Order Act and was clarified by the 2010 Act is that the law has to be read in a way that the clothing must not bear similarity or worn in way to impersonate a police officer. In light of this, clothing such as short pants, shades of other colors like red and blue cannot be attributable to the impersonation of an officer. Example, what if someone has a bag in camouflage? It stands to reason that it is not the color that is illegal. Therefore, the police or the state can be found by the court as acting ultra vires the Act if they consider all camouflage clothing as illegal. All one has to do to win their case is submit hansard for the particular period for 2010 in evidence. The court has a duty to interpret any act specifically in the spirit of what was the intention of parliament, especially when dealing with legislation which seeks to curtail the rights of individuals. The intention of parliament was to prevent the impersonation of officers and not to prevent persons from wearing a color per se. Therefore the police have to match the act with the person's intention.

    What the police have been doing is WRONG. Since they know that they have over-stepped the powers given by the Act they have resorted to stripping persons in public rather than going to court to determine the person's guilt under the Act. I dare Innocent or any police officer challenge me on this issue as i await the day when they strip any of my family in public. You should charge him officer (this is your job)not submit him to degrading treatment. The police has no right to strip any body. This can be viewed in the same light as cutting someone's hair in public.

    This now leads me to another issue. What power does a registered armed military force have to police citizens. The SSU was created as a special military group and is trained as such, what business does it have to police ordinary citizens? In any democratic country does the military have the power to do ordinary police duties? It ALWAYS redounds to problems when a government unleashes its military on its people. All the allegations of police brutality and unlawful killings of mentally challenged and civilians are testimony to this. These people are trained for militarized situations and not for ordinary police duties. It is time the government recognize this of one of the fundamentals of restoring a lawful police service. The US has identified the SSU in a number of State Department Reports as being a militarized force, and with such distinction made, the use of this force on ordinary citizens would come in for criticism.

    You think the Government doesn't know that? HE HAW!!!! All they try to do is to keep you ignorant and subservient. You think that La Corbiniere cannot come and clarify what Innocent has failed to do. But who knows it could well be that this is the message he was instructed to convey. "Lets trample their rights so they remain docile in accepting that we are their masters."