The public seems to have lost a great deal of trust in the police following a string of allegations that have been levelled at several police officers in recent months.
On May 13, two police officers were charged with kidnapping, corruption and assault. Four days later, on May 17, two constables were detained for allegedly raping a young woman in Five Islands. There have also been allegations in recent times, that these lawmen were part of drug trafficking rings.
Asked about the recent allegations against the police, an officer who works at the Magistrates Court in St Johns said, “I am walking and if you hear the kinds of remarks people are making to me?”
According to this police officer, who has been in the Force for over 9 years, the allegations surrounding his colleagues are “unfortunate” and “shameful”. He added, “Even if it’s not me, I feel so bad because we are all one.”
The police officer said serious investigations must be conducted on all police officers because “I am sure there are some with more skeletons in their closets”.
However, a female security officer who works at a bank in St Johns, had a slightly different view. Although she did not condone the allegations, she said understandingly that “police officers and the authorities are just human beings. They aren’t better than other humans.”
The female security guard further stated police officers suffer the same weaknesses as the entire human race.
Meanwhile, one member of the public, who wanted to be called ‘Lady Raw’ said the public trust in police officers has now gone out the window entirely.
“We didn’t have much trust in them in the first place. Now we have none,” she said as she stood in the doorway of Dorsette Music in St. John’s.
‘Lady Raw’ further stated that the distrust starts from the top and trickles its way down to the bottom.
“When we hear, policemen are going around raping and stealing and involved in drugs how can we trust them,” she added.
One man, who washes cars in the city, did not mince his words, saying bluntly “they are rogues… dogs… I warn Antigua people already… never to trust policeman”.
He said when drug related matters are brought before the police, “you don’t even know if the drugs belong to them too”.
The car washer said the entire situation raises the question about whether the police were involved in the vanishing of Vincia James, who has been missing since April.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)