Justification for a Police Force
- The fundamental requirement for stability of society and achievement of desirable economic growth and development of a Nation State is the preservation and maintenance of the rule of law with personal, corporate and institutional security of the State. Provisions for the preservation and maintenance of rule of law are contained in many Acts of Parliament. The security of the State is provided for particularly in the State Security Act and others related.
- The economic and social system can only operate successfully on a path of human endeavour by objectively guiding the aspiration of people to the discovery of their full potential. This happens only when investors, local and foreign, engage in production and marketing activities because they are confident that they will obtain the expected flow of returns on their investments, and the people are satisfied that life, property and the enabling legal environment are properly safeguarded and protected. In other words, the growth and development of the economy with the expected improvements in standards of living is highly dependent on the skills, commitment, dedication, hard work and efficiency of the Commonwealth of Dominica Police Force (CDPF).
- The 1998 Annual Report, the last issue produced, reveals in a specific way that there is much to be done to address the issues of criminal and related activities including drug abuse, traffic violations, incidents of domestic violence among others, and the imbalances caused by the deficiencies of manpower and equipment. It is quite apparent that the criminal situation today is even more critical, given the experiences of the economic decline.
- The preservation and maintenance of the rule of law, the legitimate and peaceful functioning of the State, and the protection of life and property through judicious preventative operations to contain and reduce crime reside fully in the effectiveness and efficiency of the establishment and operation of an expert, dynamic and creditable police force. The CDPF has a definitive and critical role to play in safeguarding the provisions of the Constitution, in particular the fundamental rights and freedom of the people, all Human Rights Conventions of the United Nations, and very importantly, in regulating and monitoring their implementation. Increasingly, the public is demanding action as it pertains to the Rights of the Child which is contained in legislation and the Act on Prevention Against Domestic Violence among others. In other words, a quality police force is a prerequisite for the safe and propitious functioning of civil society.
- There is no doubt that indictable offences are on the increase. For the period 1996-1999, indictable offences increased from 1591 (1996) to 1667(1999) with a peak of 1975(1998). This is shown in Appendix I. Burglary showed trends of increasing with a 17 percent rise in 1998, robbery increased approximately 80%, forgery increased over 100 % with a 500 percent increase in 1997, grevious bodily harm increased by approximately 40 percent. These statistics indicate that the major crimes are on the increase. However, details on age distribution, gender, geographic distribution and value of the criminal product among others are important to provide information of trends to demonstrate levels of effectiveness and to make enlightened projections to determine areas of focus attention and action are available.
- If for any reason, Government, its agencies and statutory corporations should at any time function in such a manner that promotes confrontation which could inevitably lead to civil disobedience, apart from highly skilled negotiations it would require the properly managed resources of a quality police force that can avert such a confrontation or take the country back to normalcy. The necessity of a quality Police Force must be recognized, fostered and given priority at all times. The world is getting more complex in social behaviour, social and economic relationships and international influences on a daily basis. The potential for civil disturbances and complicated criminal activities become real and are ever threatening.
Expectation of a Police Force
- Both the Government and people of the Commonwealth of Dominica expect to have a Police Force that is professional in conduct and responsive and effective in its operations. In addition it expects a Force which meets the changing demands of society and is creative and adjustable in crime management, investigation and research, prosecution, and other related activities. It must also engage in competent strategic planning to achieve results on a timely basis.
- Government continuously enacts legislation to address the problems and concerns of society and to provide for the welfare of the nation. In so doing, it expects the Dominica Police Force to professionally and satisfactorily execute the provisions of the laws it enacts. But the (CDPF) can only perform in the expected manner if it is has the capability in human resources, equipment and facilities to do so. Recent laws such as the Noise Abatement Act, the Protection Against Domestic Violence Act and the Solid waste Management Act, among others, have imposed unexpected additional demands on the CDPF. It is therefore expected of Government to adequately meet the financial requirements of the CDPF to allow it to satisfactorily respond to the demands of an ever-changing environment and people with growing financial expectations and increasing social problems, and to efficiently execute the provisions of laws entrusted to it.
- If Government can make the financial sacrifice and at the same time seek additional assistance from donor and corporate sources, then it should be able to provide the CDFC with the capability to satisfactorily perform, with motivation and skill. In a like manner, Government is expected to correspondingly provide the appropriate facilities for the (CDPF) to develop top quality attitudes as expected, to deliver the required services to adequately confront the challenges of the complex and increasing levels of crime of domestic, regional and international origin.
- Attitude to work, capacity to achieve, commitment and loyalty, and knowledge and skill to perform the broad variety of functions are vital elements required to accomplish objectives and meet expectations. The quality of attitude and behaviour of the members of the CDPF must be continuously improved since it will enhance confidence, self-esteem and credibility and consequently enable the CDPF to rise to all occasions as expected.
- Finally, there is the mutual expectation of Government and people for the CDPF to satisfactorily perform at all times. Similarly the CDPF has an expectation to have the required available resources to execute those duties and responsibilities so entrusted to it. This should be the basis for both parties to agree on what has to be done, how it can be best achieved, how the resources can be provided and how performance can be measured and rewarded.