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 60 thru 62. - The Setting-up of the Police Aides - Their Recruitment, Qualifications etc. - Evidence of Nugent David

60. Mr. Nugent David, a police officer with approximately 29 years service was appointed to act as Commissioner of Police on August 14, 1973. He knew something about the recruitment of Special Reserve Policemen or SRP's referred to in this report as police aides. It occurred while his predecessor, Mr. Mervyn Barrow, was in office but did not continue during his own tenure of office which ended on February 20, 1974, when he was sent on 43 days leave and thereafter on indefinite vacation leave.

According to Mr. David the police aides were under his jurisdiction because they assisted the police with their duties although they were not recruited normally as policemen who were required to undergo tests for educational and physical fitness; but they were paid through the office of the Commissioner.

Mr. David said he did not know how or by whom the recruitment of police aides was done except that he knew the recruitment took place in St. George's and that after he assumed the post of acting commissioner of Police he heard from policemen that the men were selected by the Premier, Mr. Gairy.

As he understood the functions of the police aides, their main duties were guard duties and at times they assisted the police in searches, but hey were subject to no discipline or control similar to that which obtained in the Police Force nor were any regulations ever made with respect tot hem. He added that in his knowledge none of the police aides was issued with firearms although he knew that some of them possessed and carried firearms on guard duty.

61. Mr. David's evidence about the forces established under the Police Ordinance is important if only to indicate the extent to which the statutory provision of facilities to protect the security of the State were inadequately used while, at the same time, an undisciplined group of men, several with previous criminal records, were entrusted with functions which, if abused, as indeed the evidence discloses they were, might lead to grave infringements of the Rule of Law and the abridgement of the provisions of the Constitution relating to Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

According to Mr. David, the police aides were known as S.R.P's (Special Reserve Police) and were the same as the Secret Police; but were not recruited under the Police Ordinance which provided for the Police Force and a Grenada Volunteer Constabulary which became defunct in 1970 when its members were drafted into the Police Force.

At the time he gave evidence before the Commission in April, 1974, he spoke about the revival by himself of the Grenada Volunteer Force also formed early in 1974 but about which he did not know very much because he had not "anything to do with them." So far as the Commissioner of Police knew the selection of men for the Defence Force was done in the Ministry of National Security of which Mr. Gairy was the Minister.

The officer in charge of the Defence Force was a Mr. Samuel John and this was a group of men separate from the police aides for when there was no police officer in charge nor to whom was ever issued any equipment or identification nor of whom was ever required the taking of an oath of office. Mr. David's estimate of the number of police aides during his regime as acting Commissioner was 200.

62. Mr. David spoke about the only occasion, as the officer in charge of the Criminal Investigation Department [CID], he was present when police aides were recruited at the residence of Mr. Gairy at Mount Royal. At that time Mr. Reginal (sic) King, since retired, was the Commissioner of Police. According to Mr. David the names of the men were called in the presence of Mr. Gairy, their names were recorded by two ladies, not policewomen, and subsequently sent to the Commissioner of Police who kept a register.

According to him the strength of the Police Force in 1970 stood between 300-400 and in 1974 at 536 when he went on leave. The increase in strength occurred substantially in 1973 when, between October-November, about 100 men were recruited. The Police Force, as such, was not increased or doubled in 1970.

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