Report of the Duffus Commission of Inquiry into the Breakdown of Law & Order, and Police Brutality in Grenada

Part V

RECOMMENDATIONS

Paragraph 205. - 2. Re-Organisation of the Police Force

205. The Commissioners strongly recommend as urgently and absolutely necessary a thorough re-organisation of the Royal Grenada Police Force. To achieve this primary purpose of the maintenance of law and order, the preservation of peace, as well as the lives and property of the citizens the re-organisation of the Police Force is urgently required. Moreover, the re-organisation of the Police Force is seen as highly desirable if the discipline and morale of the Force, which has been sadly eroded and weakened by recent events and the unlawful system of police aides, is to be restored and maintained.

To help in achieving these ends the Commissioners recommend:

(i) RECRUITMENT

A programme of recruitment should be undertaken to enlist into the Police Force candidates of a higher standard of education than that exhibited by many who gave evidence before the Commission, for constables as well as officers.

(ii) TRAINING OF RECRUITS

A proper programme of training for all recruits must be undertaken and since the State of Grenada at the present time lacks both the personnel and suitable facilities for such basic training, it is recommended that sister Caribbean countries such as Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, or Jamaica be asked to assist in providing such training.

(iii) TRAINING OF OFFICERS

Since the morale and efficiency of the Police Force depend in no small measure upon the quality of its leadership, every effort must be made to provide high quality leadership. As a first step towards the achievement [line missing] must be undertaken and these officers who manifest qualities of leadership and competence should be given opportunities for training overseas.

Incompetence should not be rewarded with promotion on the grounds of seniority in the service nor should ability to please and carry out the wishes of politicians be stepping stones for advancement. On the other hand, fear of incurring the disfavour of political leaders should not stand between an officer and the execution of his duties. In many instances senior police officers as well as constables who appeared as witnesses before the Commission admitted to failure or neglect in carrying out their duties. It appears that the underlying reason for such inaction in some cases was intimidation by the police aides or fear of reprisal by incurring political displeasure. Glaring examples of this were the many instances of the failure of senior officers to take any action whatsoever against policemen and police aides who used violence to or ill-used prisoners.

(iv) APPOINTMENT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF POLICE

The key to the re-organisation of the Police Force and to strengthening and improving discipline and morale lies in its leadership, especially in providing a highly qualified, competent and experienced person of integrity as the Commissioner of Police. It was observed that the position of Commissioner of the Royal Grenada Police Force within recent years has been filled by a series of acting appointments. The efforts of the Government to find a suitable person to fill the post are recognized, but it is the firm conviction of the Commissioners that highly necessary and urgent re-organisation of the Police Force into an effective instrument for the preservation of law and order will not be achieved until a competent Commissioner who is able to command the respect of all members of the Police Force as well as the confidence of both the Government and the public is sought out and appointed. It would seen that there is no such person in Grenada at the present time. The Commissioners therefore deem it a matter of paramount importance that the assistance of the Commonwealth Caribbean countries or other Commonwealth countries be requested in securing the services of such a Commissioner. It is urged that immediate steps be taken for consultation and implementation of this recommendation.

(v) ADMINISTRATION

The supervision of the Police Force and its administration, particularly the recruitment of personnel and the placement and transfer of its members ought to be left in the hands of the Commissioner as provided for in the Police Ordinance 1966. There ought not to be any interferences with the Commissioner in the performance of his functions as laid down by the law.

(vi) ASSISTANT SUPERINTENDENT INNOCENT BELMAR

After considering the conduct of Asst. Supt. Innocent Belmar and the part he played in events leading up to the incidents of November 18 and 19, 1973, the Commissioners are satisfied that he is not a suitable person for the position he holds and recommend that he be removed from office in the Police Force and be precluded from holding any office in the public service and that the Public Service Commission be requested to take the necessary steps to implement this recommendation forthwith.

(vii) ACTING INSPECTOR DAVID ANDREWS

The Commissioners are satisfied that Acting Inspector David Andrews conduct on November 18, 1973 and his complicity with Asst. Supt. Belmar were such as to render him unfit to hold the rank of a non-commissioned officer in the Police Force and recommend that his conduct should be enquired into by the appropriate authority.

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