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Contact: Claudia Monlouis

Monday, February 24, 2003 - A new approach will soon be implemented within the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force to bring an end to the abuse and misuse of Police vehicles.

Speaking at the formal handing over of a brand new fleet of 15 Kia vehicles to the Force on Friday, Minister for Justice, Honourable Senator Petrus Compton, announced that stern measures will be instituted in an effort to ensure that the lawmen safeguard the vehicles and encourage them to practice better management of all vehicles assigned to the Force.

Senator Compton went on to add that officers will be held answerable to a special authority within the force. “I am very pleased to tell you that a week or two ago I chaired a meeting with the Commissioner, some senior officers and members of the Ministry of Justice at which we took certain decisions which will relate to these vehicles and any other vehicles coming into the force,” said Compton. Senator Compton explained “We will appoint what we call a fleet manager. That is a person who will be given certain responsibilities and certain powers in relation to how the entire fleet of vehicles and motor cycles will be managed. We’ve also agreed to establish a fleet advisory management committee; that is a team of senior officers, unit heads, and divisional heads, unit heads, who will advise the fleet manager on all matters pertaining to the use of vehicles. There will be very clear operating procedures, there will be very clear regulations as to how vehicles in the police force will be used and managed.”

According to Compton there will be very clear penalties for those who infringe on the rules. He also called on the public to “watch out” for those vehicles which are really the property of the nation and to report any instances of abuse and misuse of the police vehicles.

Police Commissioner Brian Bernard said that the new vehicles which came out of a request made by the government of Saint Lucia to the government of South Korea on the behalf of the Force are expected to increase the capacity of the force to respond to emergencies and to patrol more effectively.

Among officials on hand to witness the handing over, was Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Cosmos Richardson who expressed the government’s gratitude to the government and people of South Korea. Northwest Saint Lucia Ltd. the agents for Kia, was also acknowledged for facilitating the arrival of the vehicles.

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