Negligence by some cops and emboldened acts unacceptable conduct- connecting the dots
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February 19, 2024
Negligence by some cops and emboldened acts unacceptable conduct- connecting the dots

You hear it all the time, the increasing number of unsolved murders is contributing to the increase in homicides committed in SVG.

Occasionally we are told that there is an annual decrease in the number of crimes committed in the country. Is this really the case, or is there an increasing number of unreported crimes because some citizens believe that their report will be brushed aside.

We hear of instances where persons who went to police stations to make reports were chased away or there was a refusal to take the report. It is not surprising therefore that an increasing number of persons are recording their interaction with the police.

In this regard an article from another Caribbean country may provide some insight, read it at

Being constantly harassed and threatened by a neighbour for over sixteen years I have witnessed first-hand the declining standard and effectiveness of policing. Other persons, including a retired police officer shared this concern with me.

An article appearing in St. Vincent Times dated 1st December 2023 and entitled “St. Vincent tops List for Crimes Against Yachtsmen in the Caribbean” spoke to the issue of law enforcement officers not demonstrating a willingness to act on information provided.

The manner in which the last incident I reported to the police was dealt with left me wondering if I will be included in the 2024 homicide statistics:

After about a week of taunting us that he was going to repaint my concrete wall fence, the neighbour did so on 7th October 2023, and subsequently threatened to end my life. Two of the phrases used were; 1) “So if you bin meet the man dey way you would ah do um, boy ah the last day you would ah live”. [Referring to if I did meet his employee painting my wall] 2) “Boy watch, ah would a let go the seven ah dem in ah you and everybody fo yo. You stupid ass”. [On 3rd November 2023 he added clarity to “the seven ah dem” when he gave instructions to a resident at his house to wrap the gun in two plastic bags and hide it.].

These statements are recorded on video, so it will be futile for him to deny them. He denies almost every factual statement that is made about his constant harassment and threats. Multiple times he made death threats to us. On three occasions following reports made to the police his premises was searched for an illegal firearm, but none was found. I am confident that the three senior police officers who authorised those searches would not have done so if there was any doubt regarding the credibility of the reports. In 2019 legal proceedings were instituted against him for threatening language under section 165 of the Criminal code, but he was acquitted of the charge. I believe that the outcome would have been different if we had security cameras installed at that time.

The fractured relationship with our neighbour started with his wife telling my wife that Indian should not marry black people, a statement supported by her husband when my wife complained to him.

Following this, decaying fruits and other garbage began appearing in our veranda and yard. The neighbour started threatening my wife and subsequently me. He has continued with all sorts of spiteful acts to this day. While he may deny this and other similar statements as being true, it will be futile for him to dispute that a member of his household wrote with paint on the side of his house opposite ours in 2022 “I hate your black people”. This was perhaps to serve as a permanent reminder after they got tired of making similar statements without getting any response from us.

In 2007 and several times thereafter he said that he will torment us until we are dead. Towards the end of 2019 we installed several security cameras on our property. This has curtailed most of the garbage throwing and water spouting into our veranda and yard, and has allowed us to capture some video and audio of noteworthy events.

So why is this first-hand account relevant to the crime situation and policing? From 2007 when we thought it necessary to report these incidents to the police, they would have told us in many instances that they warned him. It was not until I wrote a letter to the Commissioner of Police in 2012, and we began engaging the Superintendent of the South Central Division was there any deterrence that caused him to curtail his spiteful acts.

From 2020 we began experiencing difficulty to get the officer in charge of the Mesopotamia Police Station to take any action even a case in 2023 in which the neighbour brought a large garbage bag half with garbage and throw it at the side of the road in front of our property. We had video evidence of him doing it. I called at the police station, and my wife had to call subsequently before two constables were sent. They spoke with us, then with the neighbour, and then they took away the garbage. After the police left, the neighbour was very jubilant about what he had done.

Towards the end of 2018 he modified a portion of my wall fence and painted it to make it appear as part of his property. I subsequently wrote a sign with white paint requesting that he keep his paint off my wall. Less than two months later he repainted over the sign and other white paint with his brown paint. When I reported the matter to the Officer in Charge of the Mesopotamia Police Station I was told “is a wall you guys fighting over”. It is very probable that the offender was not even told that what he did was illegal. Section 297 of the Criminal Code says that it is an offence, and I am confident that the officer knows this. Later that year, 2020, I repainted in white, the section of my wall that was painted by the neighbour. He made a false report to the police that I came into his yard to paint my wall. A Constable was sent to investigate the report. After his investigation the Constable warned the neighbour that the wall does not belong to him so don’t interfere with it. When he repainted it in green on 7th October 2023 I reported the incident to the Officer in charge of the Mesopotamia Police Station. Again he did nothing. I wrote to the Superintendent of the South Central Division, requesting his intervention. My wife and I followed up with several calls to the Calliaqua Police Station and left messages for the Superintendent, and got no response from him. Three and a half weeks after the incident, a constable from the Mesopotamia Police Station called at my home and left a message to inform me that the matter I reported to the police is a civil matter and I need to contact a lawyer; which I did. More than six weeks after the event the same Constable came at my gate and informed me that the Superintendent wants me to meet with him at the police station. Twenty minutes after the scheduled time for that meeting my wife and I were informed that the Superintendent had another engagement and cannot attend. We were given a new date for the meeting. The day before that second scheduled meeting we were informed of another postponement to a date to be determined. Nothing has happened since.

Ownership of the wall is not really a disputed issue. Sometimes the neighbour acknowledge that the wall belong to us, sometimes he says that the side of the wall facing his property is his, and at other times he would say I don’t have any wall there and that I did not build wall there.

Although he said that if I repaint the wall in any other colour that he will paint it back in green, at some time I am going to re-establish ownership of my property by repainting it. Clearly, the manner in which the police disregarded my complaint is likely to embolden this neighbour. If he really has a gun and decides to carry out his threat; would it be regarded as anything other than gross police negligence?

I am using this forum to call attention to the increasing unwillingness of some police officers to intervene in law enforcement matters, and to encourage those who carry out lawful activities in law enforcement to continue doing so even when they face criticism. Also, our human diversity in little St. Vincent and the Grenadines should never give rise to spreading feelings of hate, and every effort must be made to dislodge them where ever they exist for the good of the wider society; not conceal them. Seithroy Edwards