Police Commissioner, Severin Moncherry, has denied ‘interference’ in the operational aspects of the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (RSLPF) by National Security Minister, Hermangild Francis.
Moncherry asserted that he has a very good relationship with Francis, who is a former Deputy Police Commissioner.
“That is something I expect to continue,” he declared.
Moncherry said he was aware of rumours that Francis was interfering in the RSLPF.
“Let me say categorically that as long as I am Commissioner and as long as I am in this chair, whether it be this minister or any other minister, I will not allow any minister to interfere in the operational aspects of policing within the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force,” the Police Commissioner stated.
While acknowledging that he is answerable to the minister, Moncherry explained that Francis has never during his tenure tried to interfere.
Pressed on the issue, the Police Chief dismissed suggestions that the minister has been undermining the leadership of the RSLPF.
“As long as I am in this chair I will not allow it to happen and knowing this minister very well, I do not expect that of him,” Moncherry said.
He described Francis being an ex police officer as a plus for the RSLPF, since the minister knows exactly the pain that the force is feeling and the resources that are needed.
Moncherry made the comments earlier this week to members of the local media.
It was not the first time that he had issued such denials.
In an interview with the Times recently, the Police Commissioner had made similar statements.
The interview with the Times followed a meeting between the National Security Minister and police officers assigned to the North of the Island.
At that meeting, held at the Castries Comprehensive Secondary School, Moncherry had declared in the presence of the minister and to applause from officers at the gathering, that he would not allow that minister or any other minister to interfere in the operations of the RSLPF.