by Linda Straker
- Public asked to assist law enforcement instead of challenging officers’ instructions
- At least 3 methods to resolve matters of public concern about Police Officers
The head of Grenada’s police force said he is concerned about the growing trend of citizens disrespecting on duty Police Officers. He has appealed for the public to assist law enforcement instead of engaging in actions that can be deemed as challenging the instructions of officers.
“I am becoming growingly concern of what seems to be an emerging trend of recalcitrance, resistance and noncompliance to Police Officers in the execution of their duties and in this context, I want to appeal to members of the public to assist the police officers in the execution of their duties,” said Edvin Martin Commissioner of Police.
“We do not get everything right and we do make mistakes but there is a legitimate means of following through if you think the Police has erred in any particular way,” Martin told journalists in the first quarter briefing on 14 April 2021. “But the blatant attack on police officers and disregard for the authorities to enforce the law is unacceptable, against our culture and normal practice.”
Martin disclosed that there are at least 3 methods used to resolve matters of concern from the public about Police Officers. He said that the management of the force is concerned about officers’ behaviour in the execution of their duties, and where those circumstances are identified, those officers are held accountable.
“From time-to-time officers do err and we do hold them accountable,” he said, pointing out that officers are held accountable by one of 4 means that include training, counselling, and disciplinary action. Where there is a “grave infraction” the matter is referred to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution for court action.
Referring to a recent incident in which a Police Officer was captured on video charging his gun, while a civilian was challenging the officer’s request to search his vehicle by physically assaulting and aggressively questioning the right of the officer to search his vehicle, Martin said that such behaviour is not the correct process to challenge the instructions of an officer.
Citizens who are aggrieved by the conduct of Police Officers can draw it to the attention of the Community Relations Department of the Police Force, file a criminal or civil matter in the court as well as file an official complaint to the Office of the Ombudsman.
The Office of the Ombudsman has the power to investigate complaints from aggrieved persons about maladministration by the government departments/agencies and public bodies and initiate direct investigation, into issues of potentially wide public interest and concern.
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