Officer in hot water over ‘one bomb’ case
May 6, 2011
Officer in hot water over ‘one bomb’ case

Commissioner of Police Keith Miller is making it clear to the public that comments made by one of his officers to the media, does not reflect the position of the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force.{{more}}

On Monday, April 18, at the Serious Offences Court, prosecutor Inspector Adolphus Delpesche withdrew a case against Rohan Edwards of Rose Bank, who had been charged with possession of one bomb of cannabis. Edwards had pleaded not guilty to the charge and Delpesche told the court he was not proceeding on one bomb of cannabis.

“The Inspector’s actions and statements are irresponsible…. He is not working on his own. When he goes to court, he is representing us [The Police Force]. What Delpesche said is not the voice of the police. He was not advised and I don’t know why he made such a statement,” Miller said.

The top cop explained that there are circumstances in which a prosecutor can withdraw a case, whether it be for a bomb of cannabis or a larger quantity. “This has to be mainly if you do not have the evidence or if you are prosecuting a matter and not making out a case, then you can withdraw,” Miller stated.

Delpesche had also commented that it would more than likely cost more to have the drug analysed than what the court would charge the person. In response, Miller said: “What the court fines a person is not the police’s business….I know sometimes when police go out and work hard and the fines are lenient, they feel discouraged, but they still have a job to do.”

“It is in the public’s interest for Delpesche to do his work and if he doesn’t want to, he can ask for a transfer,” said Miller frankly.

Miller explained that no one bomb of splff is ever sent overseas to be tested, instead, samples of that spliff along with others are sent in batches to be tested and analysed.

Since Delpesche’s comments, Miller said he has been bombarded with telephone calls from teachers to other police authorities outside St.Vincent and the Grenadines.

“I don’t want the public to misunderstand the Inspector’s statement and become reckless out there. Persons have to be reminded that it is still illegal to have a bomb or grams of cannabis in your possession,” he said.

Miller also disclosed that he has already had a meeting with the Inspector, at the end of which he (Delpesche) was asked to submit a written report in regard to the statements made. He also said that possible disciplinary action could be taken against Delpesche.

Stating that the local constabulary has a number of international and regional partners who assist in the fight against crime, Miller reiterated his message that he does not want them to feel that Delpesche’s stance is the position of the police.

“Don’t you think it is in the public’s interest for persons using drugs to have them prosecuted in order to send a message and deter them from using drugs?” Miller questioned.

Responding to comments also made by Grant Connell, who advocated that charging for one spliff is a waste of judicial and the court’s time, Miller said he was appalled by the attorney’s stance on the matter.

“I was so happy when Mr.Connell did the new Tennis court to help all the children….Is this the message that he is sending to young people, that it is ok to have a spliff?” Miller questioned.

Miller said he would understand if an officer reported to him that he saw a man with a small spliff, took it away, warned and counselled him about drugs. “That officer would have made an effort to deter him from using marijuana…it sends a message to the public,” he said.

In light of what has taken place, the Commissioner is anticipating that the police officers who conduct the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E) programme would inform students that what was said by Delpesche is not the official position of the police.