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Villager wants redemption for Sharpes

Villager wants redemption for Sharpes

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One man is of the view that if police in St. Vincent and the Grenadines do not learn how to deal with civilians in a different manner, hatred towards them will continue to mount in the Redemption Sharpes community.{{more}}

“We need to change the strategy on how we go about this, and that is why the young men are not here.” This was the view of Benedict Lyttle, president of the Trigger Ridge Progressive Organisation in Redemption Sharpes.

Lyttle made his feelings known to Commissioner of Police Keith Miller on the evening of Monday, August 24th,

at a meeting in Redemption Sharpes at the old Anglican Church building.

The meeting targeted the youth in the area and was called to discuss possible strategies which could be used to turn those involved in criminal activity away from it.

Lyttle said that there are far too many police officers who do not know how to interface with civilians and the treatment he claims that is dished out by some them is undesirable. “Some of these officers just have serious problems and they need to find a better way on how to approach people,” Lyttle added.

Lyttle said he is aware of the existence of the Police Oversight Committee which investigates matters such as police brutality, but felt that there are still many stones left unturned.

The Sharpes resident indicated that some villagers have developed feelings of hatred for police officerss, which is why the young men of the area did not attend the meeting. He claimed that many times when officers came to search persons, the civilian would ask why they are being searched, only to receive a slap in the face from one of the officers. “How are you going to have civilians cooperating with police if they keep bashing them?” Lyttle rhetorically asked.

The outspoken man also stressed his dissatisfaction with the way the investigations into reports of police brutality are handled. Lyttle said that many cases are printed in the newspapers on a weekly basis and “all you could see is ‘police are continuing investigations’ and then nothing else after that,” he said. He, however, praised Commissioner Miller for his efforts in trying to restore peace in the community.

In responding to Lyttle’s queries, Commissioner Miller explained to him that every officer approaching someone to search them should firstly say who they are and what they’re searching for. He said that there area certain matters which are not of public interest and are, therefore, kept confidential. He added that police officers should show respect to persons and the public would do likewise. Miller said that there are times when the police are required to use force in executing their duties, but they should not be abusive. (KW)

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