Officers urged not to abuse their power
âPolice officers must remember that they will not always be in the police force.â##M;[more]##
Those were the resounding words of Director of Public Prosecutions Colin Williams as he addressed a Sergeants and Corporals conference on Thursday, February 25, at the Old Montrose Police Station.
The DPP is of the view that officers are expected to exercise a greater level of restraint, respect and discipline for a personâs fundamental human rights than any other ordinary citizen.
He noted that police officers are vested with âawesomeâ powers but on the other hand, the constitution and law courts are there to protect individuals. âThere is temptation at times to utilize oneâs authority and use it to get the ends you desire, but any time you are tempted to be abusive or domineering, just think about the person on the receiving end and if it is something you would like,â Williams pointed out.
Williams stated that when âwe protect the rights of the weaker ones, the stronger ones can have a better life.â
Furthermore, Williams said while persons may have an understanding that a person is a troublemaker and they have to be locked down, certain criteria must be met. âYou have to fulfill certain fundamental criteria and have to obey what the law permits us to do and refrain from what is says you canât do,â Williams further stated.
According to the DPP, persons can harbour spite and malice against police officers if discipline is not exhibited. âWe want effective policing. We have to do it vigorously, positively, assertively but always respectful to the laws of St Vincent,â Williams added.
He also noted that policing in ancient times is not the same as policing today. âThe things you could have gotten away with years ago, you canât do that today. The courts have taken a very serious strong position,â said Williams.