Saint Lucia’s acting top cop Errol Alexander has said the recent incident involving three police officers being charged for stealing is unfortunate and paints a bad picture of the force, but there is still hope.
“I want to propose to those who feel skeptical about such developments, that not all our men and women have been proven to be bad eggs,” he told a media conference today (June 2).
Alexander said a majority of his officers are upstanding, ethical, disciplined and law-abiding servants.
However, the acting top cop said this matter should serve as an example to police officers that they should not engage themselves in this kind of behaviour because it will not be tolerated.
“We must always subject ourselves to the guidelines, procedures, rules and organisational core values which govern our profession; our actions will always be subjected to review,” he added.
Alexander went on to state that the public can be assured that the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (RSLPF) has no reservations or difficulty in allowing the law to take its course in the matter.
Meanwhile, he said the matter was unearthed during a financial audit conducted by the Ministry of Finance. A document was then sent to the Office of the Commissioner of Police (COP) for investigation.
An investigation ensued shortly after receipt of that letter in 2013 and the findings were submitted to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for a ruling.
The force only received the ruling about two weeks ago.
Asked whether he feels there needs to be a change in the manner in which finances are handled by the police, the acting COP said there are guidelines that are already in place.
“It works for us. It was just a result of the officers not following those guidelines, that is why they got into the trouble they did. In addition to that, we have the Finance Act which guides us again,” he added.
Questioned further on whether he thinks there are lapses in the system, Alexander said he doesn’t believe there are any lapses, especially since the Audit Office does spot checks often.
Additionally, the police force, he said has an inspectorate system, where all inventory are checked every six months.
“We are in the process of seeking inspectorate accreditation from the RSS to enforce our Inspectorate Unit and make it more efficient. With that, our people are going to be trained in that field,” he said.