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Enough is enough, Mr Commissioner

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Fri Apr 5, 2013

Editor: The Commissioner of Police is clearly benefitting from an extended level of tolerance from the Director of Public Prosecutions. He must be walking a very thin line with the Police Service Commission and stretching the patience of the Prime Minister.{{more}} Miller was the Prime Minister’s pick for Commissioner; the Constitution gives him that privilege to agree or disagree with any nomination for Commissioner of Police.

There is a clear trend, a series of events which demands severe reprimand be issued to the Commissioner of Police. How long will this pattern continue before the relevant authority realizes enough is enough? The latest explanation given by the Deputy Commissioner that the Superintendent left the state before carrying out the instructions is pointless. The police high command habitually defies lawful instructions from the DPP. They appear to be ignorant of the responsibilities and authority the laws of SVG give to the DPP.

From June 2009 to March 2012, the DPP has outlined five clear instances where the police have shown total disrespect and disregard for the rule of law. The buck stops with the Commissioner of Police.

There are five other instances where Mr Miller demonstrated judgment far below the level expected from a Commissioner of Police: The reinstatement of three convicted officers, including one to the CID, where he has to interact with the office of the DPP, the same office which successfully prosecuted him in the first place. The Commissioner suggested publicly that “you don’t need a hundred men to out a fire” to justify the level of staffing of the Fire Department; the public rebuke of Inspector Delplesche, whom he apparently didn’t know reported to the DPP on issues of court prosecution; the sending away of Government money through Western Union to an Internet scam. Several traits of the scheme were so obvious, yet the Commissioner refused to use due diligence and common sense; and the widely published issue of the dismissed police appeal process, seemingly flawed.

The Commissioner of Police is not in any position to question the DPP on any issue of law and he must be sent, without delay, on early retirement. When a Director of Public Prosecutions has to threaten the Commissioner of Police with prosecution to get him to obey lawful directions, it’s the lowest point the Commissioner reaches.

The junior officers under the Commissioner’s command have not been so lucky; they were swiftly punished for any transgression.

The Commissioner should not be giving advice to his subordinates, especially new recruits. His actions indicate a ‘do as I say and not as I do’ attitude. What he presents to Vincentians as leadership of the police is embarrassing. It is puzzling that such an inept attitude by the Commissioner of Police is allowed to continue unabated.

GB

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