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

Part III

The Royal Grenada Police Force and the Recruitment and Function of Police Aides

Paragraphs 45 thru 47. - A Critical Examination of the Police Ordinance 1966 (Part A)

45. The Police Ordinance, 1966, is an Ordinance to provide for the organisation, administration, discipline, powers and duties of the Royal Grenada Police Force, hereafter referred to as the Police Force, and for matters incidental thereto: Section 5 states that the Police Force shall be employed in Grenada for the maintenance of law and order, the preservation of the peace, the protection of life and property, the prevention and detection of crime, the enforcement of all laws and regulations with which it is charged and the apprehension of offenders. For the performance of such duties police officers may carry arms in accordance with any regulations made under the Ordinance. The Chief of Police, hereafter referred to as the Commissioner, is given command and superintendence of the Force and responsibility for the proper expenditure of all public monies appropriated for the service of the Force.

46. Part XI of the Ordinance provides for the establishment of a supplemental body of police styled the "Grenada Volunteer Constabulary" which may be called out for service by the Commissioner in any case where additional police are required for the preservation of good order. The Commissioner is alone vested with the authority to command and superintend the Constabulary and has the power to appoint its non-commissioned officers and constables.

With the exception of the requirement for height and a reasonable standard of education, which, in addition, members of the Police Force are required to possess, members of the Constabulary are required to be not less than 18 years, able-bodied and of good character.

When recruited, every member of the Constabulary should be issued with a short manual describing the powers and duties of the Constabulary, a badge, a baton and such clothing and other equipment as may be approved by the Commissioner. The badge is intended to provide prima facie evidence that the person is a member of the Constabulary and it shall in all cases be displayed by every member when exercising the duties of office.

When Called out for service by the Commissioner, in whom alone vests the authority under the Ordinance, every member of the Constabulary is vested with the same powers, authorities, advantages and immunities as a member of the Police Force and is subject to the same duties and responsibilities. Provision is made for payment while on service and it might not be inappropriate to mention that by section 32 - 2 of the Police Ordinance any police officer who, being present at any assemblage tending to riot, does not use his utmost endeavours to suppress the same; or who uses unnecessary violence to or ill-uses any prisoner, shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding $240 or to imprisonment not exceeding 6 months.

47. Part XIV of the Police Ordinance provides that the Commissioner may from time to time appoint fit and proper persons to be Rural Constables. In the event this becomes necessary the name of every person so appointed shall be published in the Gazette and after the date of such publication upon his making before a Magistrate or the Commissioner a declaration that, inter alia, he will subject himself to all Ordinances, orders and regulations relating to the Police Force and discharge all the duties of a police officer according to law, he shall have all the powers, authorities and immunities and be subject to all such duties, responsibilities and discipline as are conferred or imposed upon a police constable. Provision is made also that every rural constable shall be furnished, among other things, with a distinctive badge. Although there are no specific requirements as to age, health or good character, it is reasonable to assume that the kind of authority which devolves upon a rural constable, being the same as that conferred upon a member of the Police Force, the Commissioner would be guided, in his choice of fit and proper persons, by considerations of age, health and good character.

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