Minister: It was ‘inappropriate’ for WPC not to take his call

National Security Minister, Hermangild Francis, has spoken publicly for the first time about a story that St Lucia Times broke this week, about alleged insubordination towards him by a Woman Police Constable (WPC).

Francis has come under fire on social media since St Lucia Times published the story.

But he has declared that it was inappropriate for the WPC not to take his call.

The WPC is reported to have declared that she had no time to speak with Francis, when informed by a volunteer from the Office of the Prime Minister that the minister was on the telephone requesting to speak with her.

According to reports, the  female volunteer was seeking to fast track the entry of several Martinique nationals who arrived here by ferry during carnival celebrations.

Francis said that he was informed that there were a number of Martiniquans who had come here for carnival and the volunteer had spoken to Customs and Port Authority officials who had agreed to cooperate.

“She then told me that there was a WPC who was on duty for immigration but apparently she did not seem to cooperate, so she was asking to see whether I could get some assistance from her,” the minister told reporters Thursday.

“I asked her to give the WPC the phone so that I could speak to her.”

“My intention, and I understand protocol, I understand the chain of command. All I was trying to find out from the WPC was what was the situation like there. How difficult it was for her to deal with the influx of the Martiniquans, and then I would have called the Commissioner of Police and said :’Let me tell you something, you only have only one or two persons there and there are hundreds of people there, so can you beef up the immigration department by sending a couple more persons?’ That is what I was trying to find out.”

According to the minister, the WPC ‘blatantly’ said that she would not take his call.

“She did not want to speak with the minister and I felt very aggrieved at that because there is no way that a police officer, not even verifying whether it is the minister on the line or not, to find out what the minister wants.”

“She could have come and just said: ‘Well, minister, I am so busy there that I really can’t speak to you’ and then I would have told her what I wanted to find out from her,” Francis explained.

He recalled that persons who have been aggrieved about certain things, have called him and he has referred the matter to the Police Commissioner.

“The Commissioner is her direct boss. I can’t give the WPC any directives. I would have called the Commissioner. But to just say in the public domain to a volunteer working with the Prime Minister’s Office that she  was not going to speak to me – she is not interested in the minister – I mean, if we are a disciplined police force; a lot of police officers are actually condoning that you know.”

According to Francis, if the police force is disciplined and persons are going to support the WPC in her actions then “we are finished as a force.”

The former Deputy Police Commissioner said he had made a report about the incident because he thought it was inappropriate for the WPC not to take the minister’s call.

“I can’t decide for the police commissioner whether it was a breach of protocol or indiscipline – the investigation will deal with that matter,”  Francis declared.

He said he was informed that there was a letter from the Office of the Prime Minister indicating that the Martinique nationals would have been arriving and requesting the Immigration Department to make the necessary arrangements to fast track their entry.

“This has been done all over the world. The cricketers come in – 25, 30 people. You think each cricketer is going to take his passport and bring it to the immigration officer? It is not going to happen,” Francis asserted.

He stated that the manager of the teams takes all the passports and presents them to the immigration officer.

The minister explained that when he travels with an entourage, he does not have to face any immigration officer.

“The list is there, somebody comes from protocol, takes the list, gives it to the immigration officer with the passports and we are shuffled through.”

Francis told reporters he has no idea who the WPC is, and asserted that there is nothing personal in regard to the issue.

 

19 Comments

  1. King James
    August 16, 2018 at 12:51 pm

    Storm in a Teacup
    Minister -you are wrong
    She could have spoken to you
    BUT she was not obligated to do so
    So Mr. Minister ! Forget it !

  2. Fresh cash
    August 16, 2018 at 1:50 pm

    I wonder if that WPC is miss Ernesta Poleon Gaspard?

    1. Jo
      August 16, 2018 at 2:39 pm

      Lol….. Why her? Lol 🙂

  3. Unanimous
    August 16, 2018 at 2:08 pm

    Minister. Find some important problems to solve and stop talking ****

  4. so what
    August 16, 2018 at 3:54 pm

    how many times has he not taken a call as his capacity of minister or even when he was in the force. A taste of his own medicine

  5. Alvin
    August 16, 2018 at 4:07 pm

    We are missing the point here. The minister explained why he wanted to speak to her in this article. She should have taken his call. The force lacks discipline. It is the very same police force that would tell someone who came to find out certain procedures regarding traffic accidents and I quote ” You wasted half of my day when I could have been doing something else”. That’s why some of them never get promoted and the wonder. The officer should have taken his call. Same thing they do to us when we call. They say the officer is not there. They want to be respected , well respect is a two way street.

    1. Straight
      August 16, 2018 at 7:18 pm

      The officer had a right not.to take someone personal phone to speak with who so ever is on the phone….. If it was the office phone then it would have been different but someone personal phone was definitely her choice as it if she would take that call or not! Minister come again and better!

  6. The wolfman of Balata
    August 16, 2018 at 6:12 pm

    That WPCSLP should have been fired.

  7. Wade
    August 16, 2018 at 7:10 pm

    Yes he explained in the article but he did not say he had his office volunteer explain. If it was that important to get the visitors through, he should have gone down to see for himself. The he could have taken theappropriateaction

  8. Bernard
    August 16, 2018 at 7:16 pm

    I wonder how easy it is for a police officer to get to speak to a minister. There are some workers the ministers don’t even want to speak wonder if it was one of them working….smh

  9. Vaughn Blanchard
    August 17, 2018 at 8:06 am

    My understanding is that the Minister is responding to a report. He is not the one who initiated this. I have dealt with persons like this WPC in the past. I am left with the impression that she is the one who went public with this. Or someone close to the incident. Typical of people who have no respect for authority. She “dis” him or “put him in his place” so that is made public. What a shame.

  10. Anonymous
    August 17, 2018 at 8:41 am

    HOW would the Wpc verify that the person on the call was the minister? That would like a person trying to break the law then use their personal cell to call the PM and giving to the officer to escape the consequences. Stop supporting wrongdoing because it’s being done by the party you support. Wrong is wrong

  11. Truth
    August 17, 2018 at 8:50 am

    Alvin stop talking shate. First of all immigration has no TELEPHONE at the wharf. The border control system has not been working there for more than ten years now. The officer was right not to answer the volunteer personal CELLULAR phone. Minister you need to stop being the commissioner which you are not and put things in place to secure our free up borders. There has been several incidents where this government had been interfering in immigration work. One immigration officer has been transferred for not taking directives at the GFL Charles Airport. On three different occasions. Last week the same thing again this time in Rodney Bay Marina. So can some please tell me who is the Commissioner of Police under this administration. LET THE THE CHAIN OF COMMAND BE FOLLOWED.

  12. SHE DID NOTHING WRONG
    August 17, 2018 at 9:14 am

    How you can lie so much. Today alone you know only 1 or 2 officers always doing the boat in the ferry terminal with bout 300 passages coming. If you was doing your job you would have that information already. Secondly, you cant call the commission to call her cause the officers at the ferry terminal have no official work phone or computer. Why not look into that. Thirdly this wpc voted for you’ll party. I guess what she get take. There is al was says someone coming airport or seaport saying minister send them that have to stop. Why not send a letter to the head of the department prior to the arrival of the ppl and then the head will pass it on to officers as should be done. All officers should put their tools down if you dont apologize to the officer for doing the right thing. Not taking a phone from a stranger to speak to a ghost.

  13. Nadia
    August 17, 2018 at 9:23 am

    But before u travel the immigration officers have already receive a letter stating who you traveling with. It is clear that was not what happened. This pass came to teh seaport took passports off the time and bring it to the wpc so stop lying. Secondly if u were so concern about the way the officers work by now u would know every week 1 or 2 officers work those boats with 300 plus passengers. Further, when you call the commissioner how is he suppose to call the wpc when the ferry terminal have no government telephone for the officers go us or a computer. Why are you not you don’t know that. Cause you don’t care. All you’ll care about is ill position and how you can use it to make you’ll friends life better. Great job wpc. Do not take calls from strangers with no proof of who they are and who you would be speaking to on their personal phone.

  14. Vibz
    August 17, 2018 at 9:29 am

    Worst Minister ever! He is grossly incompetent, inarticulate, lazy, and totally clueless. This is a bunch of inept , immoral souls running the affairs of the country. One term for them and out!

  15. Anonymous
    August 17, 2018 at 12:29 pm

    A laba.the WPC was trying to distanilise. Bet she cam barely write a report

  16. Jack
    August 17, 2018 at 12:44 pm

    The coast guard vessel has gone to Martinique in recent times this year and was denied entry after all offices in Martinique was called even when there were high ranking officers onboard they were denied entry by French authorities. And now some stupid French persons who come for carnival want to be fast tracked. Churps

  17. zabo
    August 17, 2018 at 2:06 pm

    This is a simple matter, and you mean to tell me that our Minister of JUSTICE can’t deal with that? Mr. Francis, I ask you to back off from that, because of your rank as minister, former ASP and the different courses you have done while in office, not forgetting the number of years experience you have as a law enforcement agent, i think that it is a big shame for you to find yourself in such a petty mix-up. You are talking about discipline; Tell us, who is not disciplined between the 3 of you, the Volunteer, the PC or you? Excuse Sir, I thought you would have been a good Minister of Justice, but………
    The P. C. was the one officiating on that said day, did the volunteer in question presented any document on behalf of the group, or did she spoke to the officiating officer on that matter, before the arrival of the group? CONSULTATION IS THE GUILTY ONE IN THAT CASE.
    case close. If not; Lucians support your law enforcement personnel’s; Standby Lucians, standby!

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