Po­lice singing more blues as three are charged with steal­ing

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL - By

TToni Ni­cholas hree se­nior mem­bers of the be­lea­guered Royal Saint Lu­cia Po­lice Force have been charged with steal­ing. They were ar­rested on Mon­day, at the con­clu­sion of an in­ves­ti­ga­tion that com­menced in 2013, ac­cord­ing to act­ing po­lice com­mis­sioner Er­rol Alexander. At the time of the al­leged of­fences the of­fi­cers were at­tached to the Rich­fond po­lice sta­tion in Den­nery.

“The mat­ter came to the fore in re­la­tion to the au­dit depart­ment car­ry­ing out its usual spot au­dits,” Alexander told the me­dia on Tues­day. “A doc­u­ment was sent to the com­mis­sioner of po­lice, the mat­ter was in­ves­ti­gated and a re­port passed on to the DPP who is­sued in­struc­tions two weeks ago to the po­lice.”

Asked why for a sim­ple in­ves­ti­ga­tion of theft it had taken nearly three years be­fore an ar­rest was made, Alexander un­der­scored that the po­lice had no con­trol over how the of­fice of the DPP op­er­ates. “We can­not move un­til di­rected by her of­fice.”

The stolen amount was “over EC$3,000.”

Alexander added: “The un­wa­ver­ing and unan­i­mous po­si­tion of the Royal Saint Lu­cia Po­lice Force in mat­ters where pro­fes­sional and or­ga­ni­za­tional guide­lines are com­pro­mised is clear and un­am­bigu­ous. There is zero tol­er­ance for such be­hav­iour. It is un­ac­cept­able; in­ex­cus­able.”

He iden­ti­fied the of­fi­cers charged with “steal­ing from an em­ployee; fail­ure to de­liver money and false at­tes­ta­tion”—of­fences that could carry pri­son terms of up to two years. The suspended of­fi­cers are presently on bail but con­tinue to be paid.

Alexander de­scribed the cir­cum­stances as “un­for­tu­nate, par­tic­u­larly be­cause in such cases the public nor­mally paints ev­ery­one with the same brush.” He in­sisted that the ma­jor­ity of of­fi­cers are “up­stand­ing, eth­i­cal, dis­ci­plined and lawabid­ing ser­vants of the peo­ple” but warned that the re­cent devel­op­ment should be food for thought for other po­lice of­fi­cers.

The RSLPF has clear rules and guide­lines as to how mon­e­tary trans­ac­tions are han­dled, said Alexander. “We in­spect all po­lice de­part­ments ev­ery six months and what we are in process of do­ing is to get in­spec­torate ac­cred­i­ta­tion from the RSS [Re­gional Se­cu­rity Sys­tem] to make them a lit­tle more ef­fi­cient.”

Just last week an au­dit of the po­lice ar­mory at Anse La Raye re­vealed that three guns, as well as sev­eral rounds of ammunition, were miss­ing. An in­ves­ti­ga­tion is on-go­ing, Alexander con­firmed.

Act­ing Com­mis­sioner of Po­lice Er­rol Alexander speak­ing to re­porters at a press brief­ing Tues­day.

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