Acting Police Commissioner Milton Desir has issued an alcohol warning to officers, telling them that action will be taken against cops selling alcohol without a licence, or consuming liquor on the job.
“I am just hoping the reports I got are not true,” Desir told reporters Thursday.
He disclosed that he had sent a warning to officers in the event that they are engaging in the practice.
“We would like officers when they are dealing with situations, when they are dealing with the public – responding to situations, that they are sober and well-equipped to handle situations,” the Acting Police Chief stated.
“These are situations that have a high tendency of going wrong,” Desir asserted.
He disclosed that the reports relating to police officers and alcohol came from officers themselves.
According to Desir, no specific area was highlighted.
“It was just said that certain stations or units may be involved in the sale of alcohol whilst on duty,” he told reporters.
The senior police official pointed out that it is an offence to sell alcohol without a licence.
“I am not saying it is happening, however when I got the report I instructed that if it is happening it should stop,” he explained.
A July 1st letter from Desir to all police officers announced that with immediate effect there would be no exposing of or sale of liquor at any police station, unit or department.
“Any social activity which would require the use of alcoholic beverages by police officers at any police station, unit or department, must receive the permission of the Commissioner of Police via the relevant chain of command,” the document, a copy of which was obtained by St Lucia Times, said.
The letter cited selected portions of the Liquor Licence Act.
The Police Act Cap. 14.01 allows for the establishment of police canteens approved by the Commissioner, at which ‘the keepers thereof may sell intoxicating liquors by retail to members of the force’.
According to the act, the Police Commissioner may make rules in regard to the hours of operation of the canteens and their proper management.
“Despite the provisions of the Liquor Licence Act and the Trade Licences Act, the keepers of such canteens will be exempted from the payment of any licence for the sale of intoxicating liquor and tobacco,” the document states.