BASSETERRE, St. KItts - FOLLOWING public outcry over the way a police officer handled the arrest of a civilian, it has caught the attention of the High Command of the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force.
On Christmas Day, the officer was caught on video manhandling a male civilian while seeking to make an arrest.
The officer’s action prompted members of the public to raise issues of trust with the Police Force.
Now, the High Command has responded to the incident, writing in a statement that “An incident involving a Police Recruit and a civilian that occurred on December 25, 2022, was brought to the attention of the High Command of The Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force. The incident was caught on video and circulated widely on social media. Given what was seen in the video, we understand why the public would be very concerned”.
The statement continued: “The High Command wants to assure the public that we have well-established protocols and procedures in place for Police Officers to follow when responding to reports and apprehending or arresting suspects.”
That, however, may not sit well with many in the public domain, as there appears to be a trend of bad behaviour by a number of officers of the Police Force either in carrying out their duties, acting towards the public or generally not upholding the laws while they are in civilian clothing.
In an interview with SKNVibes last year, following the embarrassment of having several officers arrested, Commissioner of Police Hilroy Brandy emphasized that any officer who breaks the law would feel the full brunt of what they are expected to uphold.
“We have already begun looking into the matter and a number of steps have been taken. The Office of Professional Standards has been tasked with investigating the case. This Office is responsible for receiving, processing and supervising internal affairs investigations that involve allegations of acts of misconduct made against members of the Police Force,” the police statement read.
However, procedures and protocols being updated by the police may not be going far enough to tackle the problem.
A similar position was taken last year when an officer was found standing on the back of a man who was lying face down in a drain at the time, as he and another male officer sought to make an arrest.
Following that incident, policy changes were made and officers were to undergo training.
Meanwhile, the Police High Command noted that “Our Officers are here to protect and serve and do so with honour on a daily basis. Where this is not the case, all reports of misconduct will be investigated”.