A high-ranking police officer has said that the current Commissioner of Police, Edvin Martin might have “dropped the ball” in tackling head-on increasing reports of sexual abuse and molestation of female police officers by their superiors.
The officer who spoke to THE NEW TODAY on condition that he was not identified said that former Police Commissioner Winston James had put in place a policy that required all police stations to educate their staff on sexual abuse at the workplace.
He said this was done by James in the wake of a letter he received from a Woman Police Constable (WPC) who has since left the force and migrated to the United States in which she identified three senior officers for sexual abuse against her including rape by a Superintendent of Police nearly a decade ago.
According to the senior member of the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF), this was one of the things that the WPC recommended to Commissioner James that should be implemented in order to try and prevent senior police officers from preying on the young females.
He said the policy was definitely implemented after the incident involving the alleged rape involving the Superintendent and sexual molestation by another high-ranking member of the force who has since benefited from rapid promotion within RGPF and is currently occupying one of the highest positions in the High Command.
“…One (sexual abuse policy) was implemented where they had to do certain things – every station, every department had to do certain things – they had to teach, they had to train that is in regards to sexual abuse, sexual molestation – that is what the girl (WPC) requested and that was being done. It appears like it has stopped,” he remarked.
“From since Mr. James go, those practices that were done or had to be implemented, they were stopped. They were not stopped because who in charge stopped it but it stopped because the persons who were promoted and did not come through the ranks of the police Force did not understand the value of these teachings and just never bothered to continue with it,” he said.
The senior cop charged that some police officers who were leap-frogged over others for promotion “just don’t understand the value of those things that are put in place and you have a lapse”.
“In Martin’s time there has been a lapse,” he quipped.
The senior RGPF member recalled that Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), John Charles who was a senior Superintendent at the time was making certain suggestions at meetings of the hierarchy of the Force including sending letters to COP Martin about increasing reports in recent years about the conduct of some high-level officers.
He said that Charles was warned by some colleagues to be careful about sending these letters to COP Martin since fingers were pointing at some powerful members of the Police High Command of engaging in such behaviour with female officers.
He told THE NEW TODAY that although ACP Charles raised the matter of these complaints that were reaching his desk from some of the affected female police officers in meetings involving the Commissioner, nothing was done about it.
“He (Charles) raised those things (sexual abuse) because of what was going on in the Force,” he said.
THE NEW TODAY has been approached in the past three weeks by some female police officers who have been victims of increasing sexual abuse and molestation by those they describe as “dirty old men in Khaki”.
According to one female officer, if you fail to give in to their sexual advances they resort to punishing the female officer by putting her to work only on the midnight shift and also transferring them from the station without any notice.
The names of about eight senior officers including a member of the current High Command have been given by female officers as the main culprits who try to force them into sexual encounters against their will.
Police Commissioner Martin met with all female officers within RGPF last week Wednesday to hear from them on allegations of sexual abuse following the reports now in the public domain.
He later told reporters at a press conference that there is presently a draft bill on sexual molestation within the force which has to be made into law.
THE NEW TODAY understands that the bill only seeks to penalise police officers from Constable up to the rank of Sergeant and not those from Inspector upwards.
Commissioner Martin reportedly told officers at a meeting some time ago that any member of the force who falls under the jurisdiction of the Public Service Commission (PSC) will have to be dealt with by them and not the Police Force.
There are reports that the Winston James directive sought to stamp out sexual engagement among members of the force.
Since the expose in THE NEW TODAY, it is alleged that a WPC on the eastern side of the island was transferred to another station with effect from last Wednesday in the wake of reports of a sexual relationship with an Inspector of Police.
A source said that due to the relationship between the two, the WPC “comes to work whenever and whatever time she wants since she is (engaged in a relationship) with the Inspector.”
A few years ago a Sergeant of Police attached to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) was accused of rape of a WPC.
The officer was also the prime suspect in a fire that took place at the Exhibit room at the Grenville Police Station.
Speculation is rife that the perpetrator was trying to destroy evidence linked to the stealing of money from the Exhibit Room.