Investigating committee preparing report on suspended top cop

Wendel Robinson

The committee probing allegations of sexual harassment against suspended Commissioner of Police, Wendel Robinson, has finished its groundwork in Antigua and is in the process of preparing its report.

It was on August 1 this year that the police issued a statement indicating that the team from the Caricom Implementing Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS) had come to Antigua to investigate the allegations against Robinson.

The acting Executive Director of IMPACS, Major Michael Jones, confirmed that the three committee members left Antigua on Tuesday and their report is expected to contain recommendations, where necessary, based on their findings.

When asked whether there’s a specific deadline towards which the team is working, Jones told OBSERVER media, “It will go through the [acting] commissioner of police [Atlee Rodney] and make its way up the chain, but I cannot say a timeline. The initial time on the ground was supposed to have been two weeks given the number of persons that had to be interviewed, and the range of leads that had to be followed. But, a request for an additional two weeks was asked for by the team and granted by the government of Antigua.”

Jones, who was asked to identify which organisations and personnel participated in the probe, said that doing so would not be in the best interest of anyone. At the same time, he also confessed that in the absence of a written report, which is still being prepared, he is not yet aware of all those details.

He stressed, “I have not yet seen the final report which is not yet completed, so I cannot say what are the final recommendations of that report.”

The aforementioned was in response to our query as to whether the embattled police chief, Robinson, is to be charged with ‘discreditable conduct,’ as was reported by an online news agency yesterday.

Jones outlined what the committee was asked to do.

“There were allegations made and investigations to determine the veracity of those allegations, and whether there is any truth to the same, and to make a recommendation as to a possible course of action that the government of Antigua may wish to take on the recommendation,” he said.

The three-member team that conducted the probe was pulled from across the region: Guyana, Trinidad and Barbados.

They were sworn-in as Special Constables and when the police announced this in August, they also said that upon the conclusion of their investigations, a report would be submitted to the Police Service Commission (PSC) to which the higher police ranks are answerable.

Currently, Robinson is on suspension with pay, as he has been since April 4. Just days before that, three of his male subordinates made official complaints in writing to the PSC: that he made unwanted sexual advances towards them, and in at least one case, victimised one of the complainants who turned down those advances. The allegations had been circulating in the media for quite some time before the PSC was formally notified.

Robinson subsequently took the matter to court and is seeking judicial review of his suspension, which he said was orchestrated by politicians and at least two of his colleagues who are senior officers.

The matter was adjourned from July to October after his lawyer, Sir Richard Cheltenham, could not attend court due to illness.

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