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Assistant Commissioner of Police George Nicholas on Wednesday night addressed allegations of corruption in the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (RSLPF), including claims that some officers are in league with members of criminal gangs.
“We mustn’t pay too much attention to the rumours that are going around out there,” he stated during an appearance Wednesday night on the Hot 7 Television programme ‘The Hot Seat’ where the issue surfaced.
“You would hear of allegations of corruption in every sphere of Saint Lucian society whether it be the police, the Customs, the politicians themselves,” Nicholas stated.
“What I can tell you is we have a disciplinary system within our organisation that deals with officers who breach that disciplinary code and if it extends to a criminal act on their part, it would warrant them being arrested and hauled before the court like any other citizen,” he explained.
“As we speak we have officers sitting at Bordelais serving time,” the senior police officer revealed.
He said those officers were arrested for committing criminal acts.
“Our discipline system, I have every confidence in it – it works and we have tried a number of police officers who have been found wanting, who have breached that disciplinary code,” Nicholas observed.
He said some of those officers have been fined while others have been suspended or fired depending on the offences they committed.
Police Commissioner Milton Desir had recently announced the termination of an officer for misconduct, raising questions as to why the officer had not been imprisoned.
And Nicholas explained.
“We have our police regulations, we have the police act and these two pieces of legislation govern the conduct of police officers within the organisation,” he said.
“We have other legislation that the general citizenry are subjected to – the Criminal Code, the Drug Act, the Firearms Act, and all of these. We too are subject to those,” he told Hot 7 Television.
“The reason the officer was dismissed fell under the Police Act so that is why a hearing was held internally and then a recommendation was made for his dismissal and the Commissioner acceded to it. He was not charged under the Criminal Code or any of these other legislation that would warrant him being hauled before the court of law,” Nicholas declared.
“Our disciplinary legislation does not lend itself to imposing a prison sentence,” the senior officer stated.
Headline photo: ACP George Nicholas (File image)