BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, November 26, 2018 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris has promised to discuss with the public the findings of a Commission of Inquiry, launched under the Dr. Denzil Douglas-led administration, into the failure of a number of police officers to report for duty during a six-week period immediately before September 30, 2006.
A question concerning the findings of that report was raised on Friday (November 23, 2018) by a caller to Winn FM’s “Voices” programme. Prime Minister Harris was the special in-studio guest for that programme.
The caller asked Dr. Harris to share with the public the details of the inquiry into “what may have caused the problem [and] what some of the solutions may be to alleviate future problems with the police force.”
The Honourable Prime Minister responded by saying he would get a copy of the report and “share its findings with the public at the next opportunity.”
Prime Minister Harris said, “I’ve heard members of the Police Welfare [Association] say that the report had never been shared with them, and that was not in keeping with good governance.”
Dr. Harris also disclosed that the report “was never shared among the Cabinet of which I was a part of then.”
Media reports state that after requests made by the Police Welfare Association (PWA) for discussions on increases in amenities and improved working conditions appeared to go unanswered by the government of the day, a sickout was purportedly staged during the Independence celebrations when many officers reported sick at the same time for prolonged periods.
As a result, the Commission of Inquiry was launched in December 2006 by order of then Prime Minister Dr. Denzil Douglas. The inquiry was led by Mr. Charles Blades, a Retired Deputy Commissioner of the Barbados Police Force.