Norbert Urges Cops Not To Let Politics Interfere With Their Duties – St. Lucia Times

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Home Affairs Minister Jeremiah Norbert has called on members of the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (RSLPF) to ensure that politics does not interfere with their duties.

Norbert was responding to reports of police officers getting actively involved in partisan politics.

Addressing Monday’s regular pre-cabinet press briefing, the former police officer noted that members of the RSLPF take an oath to protect and serve.

Nevertheless, Micoud North MP said that police officers have a right to associate with a political party they choose.

However, he asserted that this should never interfere with the work they get paid to do.

“We see it happening. I mean, I don’t want to point out the particular examples, but we’ve seen it happening on numerous occasions where police officers, through different means, find ways to engage in the politics of the day,” Norbert told reporters.

He reiterated Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre’s stance, which has consistently emphasized the government’s refusal to interfere in police matters to ensure the RSLPF’s independence.

The Micoud North MP observed that Pierre’s position is to allow the police to do their job.

On the other hand, Norbert declared that there were examples of open interference under the former United Workers Party (UWP) administration.

“We heard comments that were really concerning as to how the police ran their affairs under the former administration,” he stated.

Norbert also said the police should not allow politics to prevent them from doing their work.

“So it doesn’t matter if it is the Saint Lucia Labour Party or the United Workers Party in government. They (the police) are getting a salary. They are paid to do a job, and that job is to protect and serve,” the former law enforcement officer stated.

In this regard, Norbert declared that the mission to protect and serve should be at the forefront of the police agenda.

But he told reporters some police officers are more interested in politics than the politicians themselves.

Regarding action against those officers, Norbert observed that a disciplinary committee exists to deal with such matters.

“I cannot tell them how to do their work or who to bring in and question,” he told reporters.