“The police force is one and indivisible”. So says Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves speaking at a press conference on Monday.
Gonsalves was referring to the instances where different sections of constabulary believe that responsibilities don’t overlap.
He said not because there is a traffic department, that traffic matters must be dealt with only by traffic police.
“ So if you in Questelles, and you stop a man and ask him for his licence and he does not have it, you don’t tell him they go take it in town, you are a police officer you can demand that they bring the licences for you in so many days as required by the law”.
Gonsalves said there are some police, and when you call and they take a message at the station and their first instinct is to call the RRU.
“ The RRU is called the Rapid Response Unit, not the Routine Response Unit if you don’t have the mindset to be a police ask for a transfer into the public service”.
“ if you don’t have the mindset to be in the police force don’t join it, just because the salary is better at the entry point”.
Gonsalves in reading the law, quoting section 11 Entitled “Powers Of The Force said.
“ Every member of the force shall have throughout St Vincent and the Grenadines, the several bays, inlets thereof and also on any vessel, every single one of them has powers, not only CID but the man on beat”.
Gonsalves when a man is on the beat, his eyes and ears must be alive to intelligence, because you fight crime with intelligence.
“ So if you are on the beat and there is a tourist, a resident, does not matter who is being assaulted it’s your duty to get involve, not stand back, and don’t report it, you have to be proactive”.
Gonsalves further quoting from Section 12 said, it is the duty of the force to take lawful measures, and there are 16 things, including, maintain the peace, regulating assemblies in public places, regulating traffic and removing obstructions, among other things.
“ Be what you are, a policeman, that’s why when we have 30 positions for police we have 150 candidates or 200”.
Gonsalves urge officers not to listen to one or two up the ranks who have whatever agenda they want, or however frustrated they are about this or that.
“ Don’t listen to any nonsense by them, your job is that of a policeman”.
Gonsalves said he is talking to officers directly, telling them that there is only one police force.