Government should seek foreign help to improve policing

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By Augustus Carr

The role of the police today is far different from yesteryear. Police are now your mentors, community support officers, advisors etc.

One of the reasons why the United Kingdom has been so successful with its policing strategies is that it makes neighbourhood policing a key feature of its approach to crime prevention.

Neighbourhood policing creates an avenue for the police to address the community concerns, social and security needs.

 The United Kingdom also conducts annual inspections of its 43 police forces through Her Majesty’s Inspectorate (HMIC), which therefore means that police reforms in the UK is continued work in progress.

There are sometimes thematic reviews or force-wide reviews. A thematic analysis might be done to address shortcomings in particular area of the Force.

A force-wide review will be done to give a holistic picture of the entire organisation. Such analysis would identify gaps, strengths and weaknesses.

Various recommendations usually arise out of these reviews, which are address by the government and respective Commissioners.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines should take a similar approach like the UK by conducting yearly Inspections of its’ police force to improving it.

This would lead to better reforms such as the establishment of a police training college, the severing of non-core policing functions, the creation of a professional standards unit, better pay and working conditions, a budget fit for purpose, investment in training and development, better road policing, improvements in its investigative capacity and many others.

There are some Vincentians who have serve in some British Overseas Territory Police Services in the Caribbean that can assist with these reviews.

One such person is George Jackson, former Commissioner of Police of the Bermuda Police Service. Mr Jackson has over 30 years experience as a police officer.

Bermuda has one of the most advance Police Forces in the Region. This was built partly by Commissioner Jackson.

The government should, therefore, seek to engage Commissioner Jackson and others to assist where possible.

In addition to reviews, there has to be a clear strategic plan with measurable outcomes. The plan must be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound (SMART).

 Community engagement has to be an integral part of this strategy. Such approach can be achieved through the deployment of neighbourhood policing teams, the establishment of the block and cacoon watches, targeting of offenders, hot spot policing etc.

Essentially, one has to adopt a problem-oriented policing model, supported by aspects community engagement and evidence-based policing to get the crime situation in SVG under control.

A problem-oriented strategy allows you to target specific crime problems and develop meaningful and workable solutions in partnership with the government, community, churches, the private sector, media, non-governmental and governmental organisations.

Let’s advocate for a review of the Royal Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force to make it fit for purpose.

There is no doubt in my mind that our police force has many competent people. However, it is my view that there is a need for more accountable and visionary leadership, a better structure, a robust training and development strategy define policies and a well-articulated strategic plan.

2 Comments

  1. We certainly are a failed state and need other countries to help us. At present our government thinks that all it needs to do is travel the four corners of the glob and beg for loans for future generations to pay back. We still have high debt, high crime, bad roads, high unemployment…I guess that is what one arrogant, greedy, self-serving man calls “Love” and “Good Government”. I guess it is love. Love of self, and good government for him because he and his cronies are the only ones benefiting from it!
    Soon that pair of old socks will be worn-out and then….The Boy Wonder to the rescue!

  2. Mr. Carr I endorse what You have stated , Many here are treating this Issue as a Political Football , where Some line up in Support of the Government & Others support the Opposition Party .

    Crime in SVG , is a National Issue , it certainly is neither the Government or the Opposition Parties Fault , never mind the fact that some see it as weapon to use against the Government .

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