National Security Minister, Hermangild Francis, asserting that it is not a must for the Commissioner of Police to inform him about police operations, has declared that the independence of the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (RSLPF) must be maintained.
Francis made the comments after he was asked by a reporter about recommending an anti-crime operation to the police chief.
“I wouldn’t recommend that – it is for the commissioner to decide,” the former Deputy Police Commissioner declared.
“If he plans to do it then he would obviously inform me and say : ‘Well okay, I am having an operation maybe this week or this weekend’ – just as a courtesy, so that if something happens I know for a fact that it has happened, but at the end of the day it is not a must that the Commissioner must tell me how he is going to do his operation,” Francis stated.
The minister referred to what is occurring in the United States where he said the Federal Bureau of Investigation does not tell the President everything.
“As a matter of fact the President is actually asking them for certain information and they say ‘No! We are not going to give it to you’ and that is the independence of the police and it must be kept that way” Francis said.
The minister spoke of the need for this country to learn from its mistakes.
He said he will not get involved in directing the Police Commissioner or telling him what type of operation to pursue.
“That will not come from me,” Francis told reporters.
The minister explained that his job is to assist the police chief.
“I agree that the buck stops with me and if the police are not doing what they are supposed to do, then the commissioner is the one I will go to and say: ‘Well okay, there is a spare of crime now, the public is up in arms, things are happening and the police are not doing anything. What are you going to do about it?'” He said.
Francis said he can get or source equipment for the police to help their do their job, but cannot dictate to the commissioner on operational matters.
“My thing is to assist him in doing his job. If he doesn’t do his job, before I go, then he goes,” the minister told reporters.