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City Police Operations Under Review

By Reginald Andrew
City Police on duty
City Police on duty

ARE the City Police officers capable and adequately competent to complement the operations of the Royal St Lucia Police Force [RSLPF] in the fight to curb criminal activities?

While acknowledging the hard work undertaken by the city police, Local Government Minister Richard Frederick confirmed there are reasons for a review of its operations to help strengthen the  capabilities of the unit.

At a previous forum, Prime Minister Philip J Pierre had indicated the need for a comprehensive review of the city police duties and responsibilities, in light of escalating criminal activity within the city centre and its surroundings.

Whereas the city police unit operates within the ambit of the Castries Constituency Council (CCC), there has been some discussions with regards  to widening the range of duties assigned to these officers.

“The city police  have been doing a phenomenal job, and where there is a void in terms of law enforcement presence, the city police would step in,” said Frederick.

There has been criticism about the working hours assigned to the city police, with persons complaining that the officers are not present on duty after 6.00p.m. Nevertheless, the Castries Central MP said that only recently, the officers were involved in apprehending a suspect who was in possession of an instrument, supposedly to carry out a break-in etc.

“If they can complement or if they can work together RSLPF, or if they can form part of the police force, I have absolutely no qualms with that,” Frederick told reporters, at a recent media brief.

He said such a development would be all the better, since this government is working towards one objective of creating a safer environment for Saint Lucian citizens.

Added Frederick: “I know that they complement the police officers very well, and they work together as to whether they can be part or not part of the police force that invariably would be a policy decision that Cabinet would have to deliberate on

The Castries Central Member of Parliament stated that it is an issue that warrants further discussions. “We are looking at the city police and we are deliberating  whether we use the manpower  to promote and create a hierarchal structure that basically simulates what happens in the police force and there are lots of little operational things that are being done and will be looked at.”

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