When is the Antigua & Barbuda Police Force ever going to understand the meaning of community policing, as I observe and bite my tongue on a daily basis?
Last night I witnessed Police Officer 470 issuing traffic tickets at the fishing tournament in Nelson's Dockyard, and no, I am not an aggrieved recipient, but an observer. The ridiculousness of this was that when everyone was arriving it was obvious to anyone that parking was likely to be a problem.
Where were the police at an event that should have been policed? Nowhere, until everyone had parked, at which point Officer 470 arrives with his flashing lights on, which are surely for use in emergencies, not for parking infringements, issuing parking fines left, right and centre. One has to ask, is this a revenue collecting exercise or poor policing?
I believe that the police should be the ones setting an example. Recently we see so many police officers involved in illegal activities, murder, burglary, breaking stolen cars for spares, carrying and using drugs in public, and so on and so forth. It is hard to understand who the good guys are and who the bad guys are.
I have witnessed police vehicles drive through gas station forecourts to avoid a red light at the traffic lights, something which I feel is as bad as running a red light. If in an emergency, I can understand it, but with no lights and siren on, they are breaking the law just as anyone else. Another fine example set for us to follow.
I continually see police vehicles being driven erratically because the driver is on the phone and witness police vehicles being used to drop their children off at school. This all seems acceptable.
Sadly it all comes from the top. I have sat behind Commissoner Browne in meetings on security matters where he shows no interest in the meeting, to the point he got so bored that he was taking photos of his very nice hat with his camera phone.
All this whilst the intelligence officer from the Antigua & Barbuda Defence Force was giving an appraisal of the security problems. This tells me that he is more interested in his uniform than the policing of this island.
As long as the police continue to treat the citizens and residents of Antigua & Barbuda with this contempt, they are inviting problems in.