Antigua: Police urged not to ‘misbehave’ during carnival

Antigua Observer:- A senior officer of the Royal Police Force of Antigua & Barbuda (RPFAB) has responded to claims that some of his colleagues have been “misbehaving” while on duty at Carnival festivities, by reminding them that they must be “above reproach”.

Faced with allegations that police officers have been drinking alcohol and dancing at festive events, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Joseph Hughes pointed to the “disciplinary code” as the absolute guideline for police conduct.

“We, at all times, should behave above reproach just by the very nature of our job and I’m very disturbed to hear that officers who are in uniform (on duty) are drinking and participating in the revelry by dancing,” Hughes declared.

Speaking on Tuesday’s OBSERVER AM, the assistant commissioner added that an officer could be sanctioned, suspended or fired depending on the level of his or her conduct both on and off duty.

The RPFAB’s Public Relations Officer Senior Sergeant Frankie Thomas, who was also a guest on the programme, said that the police force has regulations against drinking alcohol while on duty.

However, he added that if the officers choose to drink and participate in festive activities while off duty, they are still required to conduct themselves in a manner that does not bring the police force into disrepute.

In the same vein, ACP Hughes admitted that, “an officer’s decision to drink is a personal one”, but cautioned his colleagues that they should be aware of both their “personal and professional responsibility”.

“I recall an officer from Trinidad who was dismissed for dancing and it was his wife who, while he was working, came and ‘pushed back’ on him. Disciplinary action was taken,” the assistant commissioner said.

The claims that officers had been misbehaving were sent in to the OBSERVER AM programme by text, while images of the misconduct have also been posted on social media.

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