By Loshaun Dixon
Basseterre, St. Kitts-The High Command of the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force are committed to holding officers who run into trouble with the law accountable for their actions.
Speaking at a Police Press Conference on Thursday, Commissioner of Police Ian Queeley told members of the press that one of their concerns was that police officers were not being held accountable for their actions.
“We were faced with several cases against our officers for failure to perform their duties and other violations in breach of violations of various laws,” Queeley stated.
The Commissioner stated that to ensure earliest deposition of these cases each of the Assistant Commissioner of Police have been assigned as trial officers in each of the divisions.
“This has significantly reduce the back log of disciplinary cases additionally the police service was challenged with two incidents of police involved shootings.”
He further disclosed that both incidents were fully investigated and the files have been forwarded to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution for review.
“One has led to charges against one of our constables and the disposition of the other awaits completion of the review.”
Queeley added that four of officers were charged with criminal offences to date and one of those cases have been disposed of with the officer involved being dismissed from the organization and receiving custodial sentencing from the court.
“I have at all times reiterated in instances when officers run afoul of the law we will investigate and we will hold our officers responsible for their actions to account. No one is above the law.”
Andre Mitchell Assistant Commissioner of Police when question as to why it took eight months to investigate one particular case involving a police officer stated the length of investigations varies.
“Investigations sometime take time. Some are done speedily within three days while others require scientific analysis and we need all of this evidence in order to make a determination to charge.”
He added that during investigations they aim to ensure that when the matters are presented to the court the investigations are solid and can make the conviction.
“We don’t want to hustle the investigation then you know the matters go before the court then you hear they are dismissed. We want to know we are doing our investigations properly.”
These revelations comes the same week when Officer Constable Delroy Stapleton had been charged with “inflicting grievous bodily injury with a weapon” and “unlawful discharge of a firearm” in connection with National track and field athlete Timoy Henry.
Henry was shot in the neck on the strip when the officer opened fire into a crowd where an altercation had taken place. Henry was not involved the altercation but was left with his left hand immobile following the incident.
Circulation of Pornographic Material
Also being at the press conference police addressed a pornographic vide involving a female minor that has been circulation on social media in the past week.
Queeley stated that the Police Force frowns on the dissemination and circulation of Pornographic Material and are investigating the matter.
“I can say the police have seen the video the matter is being actively investigated by the special victims unit and are assisted by the Cyber Crimes Unit and the investigations will lead and the chips may fall as they may.”
He however indicated that when the matters a circulated on Facebook it presents challenges for the police force during investigations.
“In more instances than one these matters have been circulated on Facebook and we have jurisdictional issues to successfully prosecute a case we would need to get into Facebook accounts and it requires a great deal of legal and diplomatic channels to access the Facebook account over the severs in the United states.”