CID head calls for better pay and more time off for his staff
Superintendent of Police, Clauston Francis
Front Page
March 15, 2024
CID head calls for better pay and more time off for his staff

Head of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in the Royal St Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force (RSVGPF), Superintendent of Police, Clauston Francis is calling for better pay and more time off for members of his staff. And he also wants them to not be overlooked for upward mobility in the constabulary. The CID head made his sentiments known as he delivered an address at the annual awards of the CID on Friday March 8, 2024, at Police Headquarters, Kingstown during which WPC 871 Onika Lewis was named the top detective for 2023.

“Woman Constable Lewis dealt with 79 of the reported crimes and made 31 arrests, and she only had seven of those reports in her possession at the end of the year. Let us show some love and appreciation to Ms. Lewis for her incredible performance in 2023”. The CID head said Lewis outshone her male counterparts in 2023, is disciplined and loves her job.


WPC 871 Onika Lewis – CID Detective of the Year 2023 (Photo by Robertson S. Henry)

“ She is an example to all the young officers in the constabulary. Her commitment and dedication to the job is incomparable.”

Other notable performers for 2023, were WPC 11 Patterson, who investigated 53 reports, made 17 arrests and had only two case files in her possession at the end of the year.

“Ms. Patterson is of quiet disposition but don’t be fooled, she is becoming a tiny iron lady. Her future is as bright as the morning star,” Superintendent Francis stated, adding that “Constables Castello, Edwards, Henry and Jack also gave credible performances. I commend all of you for your exceptional service to the people of the Kingstown District, and by extension the citizens of St. Vincent and the Grenadines”.

The drivers of the department also came in for commendation for their service.

“Drivers you have not been forgotten. You are the heart and soul of CID. Tonight, I want to recognize you, applaud and commend you for your unwavering service to this department. Drivers let it be known that I respect, admire and appreciate the work that you do. You are very important to this department. Without you, this department would be crippled,” SOP Francis noted.

“ As soon as a report is made by telephone, we ask for you first. We call your names. Where is Hamilton, where is Arthur, Corporal Roache or Davis. These men take us to and from our destinations safely. When others are sleeping, they are on the road driving. You do so much but are often overlooked for upward elevation and recognition.”

Francis praised the entire CID staff for the level of discipline they exhibited in 2023. “During that year you conducted yourselves professionally. It’s not easy being a police officer as you are always under the microscope. I am proud of the manner in which you conducted yourselves,” the Superintendent told those under his supervision.

“No member of my staff was arrested or prosecuted for any wrong doing in 2023. I am not aware of any orderly room charges brought against any of you,” he emphasised, noting that his staff is his most important asset.

“You are not perfect but you have worked extremely hard. IT and Interpol, I thank all of you.”

He went on to speak about the pressures under which his staff works noting that “…the department is mandated to investigate all crimes that are committed in the Kingstown district or any other matter, as directed by the Commissioner of Police,” but pointed out that “policing the Kingstown district is an uphill battle”.

He said that district has more hotspots than anywhere else in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and went on to list some of those communities which have “more dangerous criminals than anywhere else… has more firearms than the entire police force. The people living in these spots don’t usually cooperate with the police… give the most problems…are most unruly and disrespectful. They make our job extremely difficult…the work is insurmountable…even their children are causing problems at school and we have to respond”.

CID chief pointed out said further that the officers his department respond to more reports and complaints than the rest of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines police force combined but not treated but are treated differently where time off is concerned.

“A constable at CID may deal with 70 or 80 reports per year, while those at the out stations might investigate 12 per year. The out station officers get more time off than CID…they get two days on, two days off. At CID it is one day on and half of a day off,” Francis complained.

“What bothers me is that they receive the same salary as CID constables. This can’t be right…we all know what a constable salary is. I want to submit here and now that there is a need to restructure the salary of police officers. You must be paid according to your work.” Francis thinks the officers working in his department should receive more pay than those in the other areas of the Royal St Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force.

“Some officers will tell

you with no uncertain terms that they do not want to work at CID, because it is too hectic.

“I also believe that CID should be on top of the list in terms of promotion. No other department in the police force works as hard as you do. You should be the first to be promoted. The dance can’t pay for the light.”