PM:  Internal politics in the Police Force ‘nasty’
June 11, 2010
PM: Internal politics in the Police Force ‘nasty’

The politics that exists between the Prime Minister and the Leader of Opposition is “child’s play” compared with the internal politics of the Royal St.Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force.{{more}}

Minister of National Security Dr.Ralph Gonsalves made this disclosure before Parliament on May 28, 2010, while tabling the Police (Amendment) Bill, 2010.

“The internal politics in the Police Force ain’t easy nasty. I am not talking party politics here you know. And a lot of that internal politics has to do with vanity, grudges. Some people holding others bad mind. Some people don’t forget things,” said Gonsalves.

As bad as it is, Gonsalves said he prefers the relationship between the Unity Labour Party and the New Democratic Party.

“It’s nowhere as vicious as what you get inside of some of these institutions with the extent of the backbiting,” said Gonsalves, expressing that is an issue which the police will have to deal with by themselves internally.

Meanwhile, Gonsalves told his parliamentary colleagues, as well as the nation, via the airwaves, any policeman or woman who does not support the Unity Labour Party (ULP) led administration does not have their own interest at heart.

Recalling all that his administration has done to improve the police profession and working conditions, Gonsalves told Parliament he cannot help but speak the truth.

Among the achievements under the ULP tenure he mentioned are the construction of state of the art police stations, the rehabilitation of existing police stations, the purchase of new vehicles, and the increase of salaries for police officers.

Vincentian police officers have been receiving attractive salaries under his Unity Labour Party led government, Gonsalves pointed out.

In 2007 constables received a 41 per cent increase in salary. This was made possible by the reclassification exercise.

The prime minister stated because he facilitated the increase, he was accused of being a communist.

“They began to say that there are some persons who are junior clerks with A’levels. Some confronted me, ‘They say Prime Minister I am a junior clerk with A’levels. Why is it the policeman salary at entry point is more than mine and he only has three O’levels or two O’levels?’” recalled Gonsalves.

The junior clerks were advised by the prime minister to join the Royal St.Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force if they wanted more money.

At present persons holding Advanced Level Subjects with nine Ordinary Level Subjects are also joining the Police Force, disclosed Gonsalves, who also serves as the country’s Minister of National Security.

“This Government has done something which is not tangible, but every police man and woman knows that it exists.We have made the police profession a respectable profession,” said Gonsalves. He said, prior to his administration taking office, people looked at the Police Profession as something that young men do when they can’t do anything better.

“Not anymore now,” remarked Gonsalves.

“The police has prestige. The Police Force has a prestige,” Gonsalves emphasized.

Gonsalves used the opportunity to highlight the deplorable conditions that his administration met the Canouan Police Station when he took office in 2001.

“When you went inside of it. It smelled.They took me in it, if you see where married men were sleeping, a little cubby hole. They have a nail to hang up their clothes,” said the prime minister, noting that this came 17 years after a New Democratic Party Government.

He said his administration rented a small hotel and relocated the police officers.

Gonsalves promised that his government would continue to lift the bar in the Royal St.Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force.