Police complaints office receives adequate attention

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A department in the Royal Police Force of Antigua & Barbuda set up to investigate internal and external complaints made against members of the constabulary — The Office of Professional Standards — has been asked to investigate an average of two reports per week.

Interim Head Assistant Superintendent of Police Errol Paige said “We do get reports from the public daily – it can be one per day or even two per week. We get reports of disciplinary

matters coming out of reports made against police officers. So if you are pulled up on a matter of insubordination, we investigate it,” the ASP said.

He added that there are times when a week or few weeks would elapse without the unit being called upon to investigate other members of the police force, while in other instances the department has been overwhelmed with reports.

According to the department head, the types of complaints it receives range from police brutality, harassment, officers accused of breaking the same laws they are tasked with enforcing and failing to follow superiors’ orders.

He said complaints are reviewed and both accuser and will have a chance to argue their case.

When the investigation is concluded, ASP Paige said a charge could be laid against the offending office resulting in penalties, such as suspension; dismissal, formal warning or the individual is reprimanded and discharged.

The office’s major function is to receive, process and investigate complaints made against police officers in a bid to ensure the public’s trust and maintain the force’s integrity.

Investigations are conducted immediately, according to the officer, in an attempt to weed out abuse of power and corruption, while at the same time vindicating officers unjustly accused.

The senior officer said misconduct within the police force will not be tolerated.

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