October 29, 2004

Report on the Local Police Force on July 26, 1909

(Done by Brigadier –General J.W.A Marshall from Jamaica)

“The police at St.Vincent (1 officer, 32 other ranks) were inspected on the 26th July. The general physique did not appear as good as on the occasion of the previous year. The equipment was carelessly put on, the belts being much too slack, thereby causing the belts and pouches to sag, though the latter had no ammunition in them. The men were all natives of St.Vincent, with one exception.{{more}}

…The unit commanders from the sergeant-major downwards, do not know how to deliver their commands correctly, and invariably stand too close to their men…(Mr. Griffith- Officer commanding the force)…has not been trained as a military officer and is unable, in my opinion to give sufficient attention to the military training of the police, considering the numerous other duties he has to perform…The arms require browning badly. The clothing is satisfactory, except in respect to boots, in proper repair, but only the boots in which they appeared on parade were at all serviceable. Where second pairs were produced they were in such an unserviceable condition as to be quite unwearable. I understand that one of the causes of this state of things is that among the chief duties of the police is that of suppressing illicit distillation of spirits throughout the island and that the wet weather and rough nature of the roads and paths is such that new boots are quite worn out in a few weeks. Each man should have two pairs of boots at all times in serviceable condition…

The firebrigade formed by the police was exercised and showed considerable smartness…There is no Defence Scheme, no machine guns, no stock of coal and no wharf accommodation.”

(Correspondence from J. Haynes Sadler, governor to the Secretary of State, October 18, 1909 – submitting Brigadier-General Marshall’s reports on his inspection of the local forces of Grenada, St.Lucia, St.Vincent)