Vice President of the New Democratic Party (NDP), St Clair Leacock, has called for a show of mutual respect between civilians and members of the Royal St Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force (RSVP).
Leacock made the call as he spoke on the party’s New Times programme on Nice Radio, on Wednesday, December 7.
At the time, the Central Kingstown representative was asked to comment on two videos which recently surfaced on social media showing two separate incidents of civilians allegedly being abused by the police.
One video shows an incident in Bequia involving an altercation between a police officer and a taxi driver.
The other incident in Kingstown, shows a police officer involved in an altercation during which an elderly woman was physically assaulted as the clean up of Kingstown continues.
Leacock said he had only seen the video of the incident in Bequia and based on what he saw “Clearly, that is not how they [police] are trained to deal with altercations and challenges to their authority.”
He said police officers do not want their authority to be diminished, or challenged in one way or the other.
Leacock said when challenged, officers “abandon their police training and carry about themselves in a high handed way that would not do them any good.”
He also called for mutual respect between the police and civilians.
“The police have to respect civilians and civilians have to respect the police.”
While encouraging civilians not to challenge the authority of police officers, Leacock expressed the hope that the police high command finds a way to apologize for the recent actions as seen on the videos.