In recent weeks, several allegations of police abuse have been published by local media outlets on social media. All of these alleged incidents involved instances where the police was accused of physically abusing a citizen with whom he/she came into contact with. The general public is hereby notified that matters of these nature are of concern to the hierarchy of the RSVGPF and every effort will be made to bring about a justifiable resolution to them.
Primary among the duties of every member of the RSVGPF is to “protect and serve” every citizen of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) and its visitors. Police Officers are trained professional in the field of policing; and while the Police Act and the Criminal Procedure Code of St. Vincent and the Grenadines gives the police special powers and authority, that power and authority must be used within the confines of the laws of SVG. Police Officers therefore must not only enforce the law but equally, uphold the law as well.
Police Officers are never trained to use excessive force to deal with any situation – instead, police officers are trained and encouraged to only use the force that is necessary to de-escalate every situation they are faced with. That is why all police officers upon enlistment into the police force, undergo training in Use of Force, Customer Service/Customer Relations, Communications and Community Policing strategies among others. One such workshop was held during the period 5-6 March, 2019. It is the hope of the hierarchy of the RSVGPF that every police officer will exemplify/exhibit the required level of professionalism, judgement and character at all times when dealing with the public.
The very nature of police work at times can, put the police and the public they serve at odds. But what is most important is for the police and the public to work together and have a mutually beneficial relationship that will result in not just safer communities but increased trust and cooperation.
To this end, the assurance is hereby given to the public that all allegations reported against police officers to the relevant authority will be investigated on their merits so that justice can be done based on the facts presented.