Our Readers' Opinions
April 26, 2016
Police becoming incompetent at jobs

EDITOR: The local police seem well dispatched to arrest street protesters, and the odd “grass” smoker (misdemeanours), but not so well disposed to arrest felons, and even less competent at convicting them.{{more}}The number of those arrested and held for prosecution of felonies – assaults, murder, crimes against women, yacht robberies – vs the number of felonies perpetrated, is exasperatingly small. And the number of subsequent convictions even smaller – largely due to inept, incompetent or mishandled police work. For example, will those detained in the religiously motivated scalding of a man two weeks ago have charges dismissed on religious grounds?

The defense lawyer community of St Vincent is in “happy hunting grounds”. I don’t know how many of their clients are actually innocent, but the rate of dismissal of cases due to lack of evidence or prosecutorial ineptitude, or just plain bungled police practice is extraordinarily high. Meanwhile, higher level justice in cases involving Government interests are either delayed endlessly, or dismissed on technical grounds.

Helena R Edwards’ letter of April 19th, 2016 to Caribbean News Now, on the Internet, details unprosecuted or ignored incidents of crime in St Vincent far better than I can and to quote from Vinci Vin Samuel’s letter to the same publication, dated April 20, 2016, “High crime (murders, larceny, and rape): It breaks my heart to observe the sad state of crime and punishment in my homeland. Sadder yet is the fact that the persons entrusted with protecting the public safety appears to be incompetent and negligent in their duty to the nation… This is not good for development.” Arrests are sometimes made, people are detained, and then inept police work results in their being set free.

As I write this, I am receiving news of the robbery of two foreign visitors in Mayreau, which took 12 hours for the police to respond to. There is an old Jesse Fuller song, “…send for you yesterday, here you come today…” Needless to say, no arrests have been made.

Does anyone care? Maybe, but not enough to do anything about it!