Home Affairs Minister Dr. Virginia Albert-Poyotte has asserted that the police must heed threats and innuendoes, including those directed at them.
“There are a number of little innuendoes and threats that are issued around the place and these are things that the police need to pay close attention to,” the Minister stated.
She said some people dismiss the threats.
“But we can treat it as a threat against the police if the police are carrying out their duties and somebody felt they were not satisfied with the decision of the police, that they could put their photos or their names on record for further forms of reprisal or action,” Albert-Poyotte told reporters on Monday.
“This, I find, is not correct. It is not acceptable and our law enforcement officers are also paying close attention to the individuals who are actually articulating these expressions,” the Minister stated.
On Saturday, during an opposition United Workers Party (UWP) protest march in Vieux Fort, former Diaspora Affairs Ambassador Dr. Jocelyne Fletcher urged protesters to take photos of the police.
“We will deal with the police and every single one of them, so go back. Today is their power; tomorrow, the power is ours. So go back. Mark their faces. Take their pictures so you all don’t forget them,” Fletcher declared in a brief video that went viral on social media.
But she said the video told only part of the story and that she was urging the protestors to obey the police, although she felt they were wrong to prevent the marchers from entering a public road.
Fletcher also said she was not endorsing police victimisation.
The former Ambassador explained that her comments were in response to a question from supporters, and the intention was that once the UWP was back in power, the officers’ should be asked why they acted in that manner.
Home Affairs Minister Virginia Albert-Poyotte said too many times people see the police as adversaries.
However, Albert-Poyotte said the police are supposed to be friends because they protect citizens.
“If we begin to change our attitude towards the police, we will get a lot more out of them, rather than the confrontational aspect,” the Babonneau MP stated.
She urged people to work with the police and understand the sacrifices the officers make to protect the country, including putting their lives on the line.
The Minister praised the courage of those officers.