Concerns raised in Montserrat regarding appointments of Senior Police Officials

The appointment of Senior Police Officials on the island of Montserrat has led to concerns being raised with regards to the lack Montserratians amongst their ranks.

Interim Police Commissioner of Montserrat, Dr Nick Caveney. (Credits: Google images)
Interim Police Commissioner of Montserrat, Dr Nick Caveney. (Credits: Google images)

The appointment of Senior Police Officials on the island of Montserrat has led to concerns being raised with regards to the lack Montserratians amongst their ranks, which is an issue brought up by many of the island’s residents.

The concerns seem justified since it is well known that it has been more than a decade and a half since a Montserratian was appointed as the Commissioner of Police, the highest office in the island’s police establishment.

Since the retirement of the Former Commissioner Steve Foster, who held the office for 16 years, many of the senior most members of the force had to retire because of a mandate issued by Governor Sarah Tucker, which was meant to open up space and opportunities for other officers to occupy higher ranks in the force.

Even though there have been instances where the likes of Inspector Jessica Sweeney were elevated to the position of Superintendent, these have been few and far between.

What is more concerning for citizens is that the two highest ranked offices in the department have been occupied by individuals who hail from the United Kingdom or other British Overseas Territories. This has understandably become a disconcerting reality for the residents of Montserrat who have failed to connect with highly placed officials in the Police Department.

This is down to the fact that residents believe they would have a far better relationship with officials who belong to the territory, having grown up there and lived amongst the community.

The expectation is that such individuals would be in tune with the pulse of the territory and have the ability to make more informed decisions, thus meeting the needs of citizens in a better manner.

Another significant point of concern for residents is that the lack of locals in the Police Apparatus, especially in the higher ranks, leaves residents of the territory with very little autonomy, putting them in a position where most relevant decisions are taken with outside considerations as priorities.

This has meant that there is a general sense of disappointment among citizens who believe that their interests are not being represented adequately with in their own home.