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 71 thru 72. - The functions performed by Police Aides

71. Several witnesses gave evidence about the functions actually performed by police aides.

The Prime Minister said that in his understanding of the position as Minister responsible for National Security, the police aides were not intended to have powers of arrest or search and were not supposed to be armed.

There was, however, a considerable body of evidence which disclosed that police aides not only arrested citizens without warrant but also carried out searches in the public streets in unseemly circumstances.

The acting Commissioner, Mr. Osbert James, said he was aware that there was no provision in law authorising the recruitment of the police aides; but did nothing to bring this to the attention of anyone; that he was aware that some members of the Police Force were dissatisfied with the presence of an undisciplined group of men working along with them; and that he considered it undesirable for men of known criminal character to be performing police duties; that although he knew that some of the police aides had criminal records, he had not realised the extent to which this was so and, obviously, did not consider it his duty to check, nor was he officially concerned about its impropriety.

Mr. Nugent David said he first heard of the Mongoose Gang when people complained a long time ago that they were beaten up by gang members. He knew also that members of the gang were recruited as police aides and that because no form of identification was ever provided for police aides a member of the public could have no means of identifying a member of that force. Nor could the Commissioner himself identify a police aide unless he checked the register at the police station in the particular district or the register at the head office. According to him, the police aides took no oath, received no training, and he could not say whether any police officer had ever instructed them at anytime about their duties.

The impression which the Commissioners formed was that apart from facilitating payment of wages to police aides through his department, the Commissioner [of Police] did not have control or supervision of them.

Some of the police aides worked with policemen in the stations in the districts in which they lived, while others were attached to no particular district or station and operated as place and time seemed to them to demand their presence. From the abundance of evidence indicating this pattern of conduct, one example may be cited in some detail to illustrate the functions which the police aides performed and the methods of their performance with the knowledge, acquiescence and active participation by members of the Police Force.

72. In the police station diary for St. David's Police District, the following entries appear for Monday, November 19, 1973:

No. Subject Hour Nature of Record
521 Take over
15.11 I P.C. 306 Murray have taken
the duties of this station
diary from W.P.C. 18 Francis
all entries correct.
523 Note 15.25 Moslyn Bishop and a party
of police aides arrived at
this station with Eric Campbell
and George Christopher saying
that he is taking them to
St. George's. As a result
Sgt. Sayers instructs me to
put them in cells which I did.
524 Departure 15.40 Sgt. 78 Sayers, Roy Edwards,
Abraham Hypolite, Lennard Noel,
left in police transport P5062
for St. George's to carry George
Christopher and Eric Campbell;
Also P.C. 82 Calliste left with
rifle and five rounds of
524 - 15.41 Moslyn Bishop and a party of
police aides left for St. George's
following Sgt. Sayers.
532 22.30 Sgt. 78 Sayers and a party of
men report their return from
St. George's in police transport
P 5062.

Moslyn Bishop declined an invitation by the Commission to give evidence. The evidence of Eric Campbell, Sgt. 78 Sayers and P.C. Calliste is relevant on the issues recorded in the diary.

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