Pastor Cecil Richardson, of the Central Baptist Church at Rey Hill, told Police Officers inAnguillaon the 40th Anniversary of the Force that the public appreciated the tremendous job they were doing in policing the island and maintaining law, order and security.
He said that at the same time much was expected of them and that, as a first step in their professional life, they should seek divine guidance, wisdom and protection that they, in turn, may protect others. He advised them that they were expected to do their job without fear or favour and to be men and women of integrity.
“You are expected to treat everyone with respect, regardless of the situation,” the Pastor continued. “Even when it comes to making an arrest, you should treat everyone with respect. You are expected to give prompt service to the public. Regardless of a person’s status or social position or national affiliation, it must never be perceived that the Police Force will respond to certain calls and not to others.”
He commended the Police for their drug awareness programme (in the island’s schools) which was very beneficial to young people, but he said there was a need to extend the programme to the general public so that adults could be educated as well. He was pleased with the efforts of the Police to curb crime which, he stressed, was a team responsibility involving the Police and the public. He urged members of the public to report criminal activity to the Police and, at the same time, called on the Police to protect their informants.
Pastor Richardson suggested a number of ways in which the Police could build a better relationship with the community. These included more patrols in the villages; a more rapid response to scenes of crimes or accidents; building public confidence in the Force by keeping in confidence the identity of informants of a particular case to protect them against reprisals. “There has to be that close link so that the public can share the responsibility for security,” he pointed out. “When we do share information, we are also helping to protect ourselves because we are sending a strong message to the criminals that they can’t do as they wish and not be detected.”
The Pastor expressed the hope that the Government would provide Police Officers with all the equipment and other support they need to perform their duties effectively; and assured them that the community would play its part to work with them.
He added that with that kind of assistance the Police would be able to do more to makeAnguillaa safer island where everybody could be at peace and of which they could be proud.