Business community expresses concerns over police leadership post-Maria

Leblanc has also suggested an inquiry into the police force after the hurricane

The Dominica Business Forum (DBF) has expressed concerns over what it said is the failure of the leadership of the security apparatus in Dominica following the passage of Hurricane Maria.

It has even called for a review of the way the Police Commissioner is appointed.

For days after Hurricane Maria, there was widespread looting in Dominica and some people have said there was an actual breakdown in law and order.

Member of the DBF and President of the Dominica Builders and Contractors Association of Dominica (BCAD) Anthony Leblanc said that at a meeting of the organization, concerns were expressed over the leadership of the police force after the hurricane.

“At our 7th November 2017 meeting, many persons expressed concerns about the failure of the leadership of the security apparatus of the state,” he said.

He suggested that the way the Police Commissioner is appointed be reviewed ”with the view to ensure that the holder can meet the demands of such critical office in times of crisis.”

He said it is vital that confidence in the security apparatus of the state is restored.

Leblanc called for a critical review of the security apparatus of the state with regard to the “breakdown in law and order and the looting, burglary, and vandalism which took place immediately after the storm …”

He said this should be done with a view to restoring business confidence and activity and recommended that such review include a judiciary inquiry into the breakdown in security and an examination of the type of criminal activities which ensued after the hurricane.

He is also proposing “a short amnesty for persons who wish to return stolen goods” after they have been prosecuted for being in possession of stolen, looted items.

Leblanc suggested some form of compensation for businesses affected by the looting, to help them recover and help in planning and continuing economic activities and “concessionary financing of five percent interest for five years under the CBI or other programs to allow the affected businesses to restock or restore their businesses.”

Executive Director of the Dominica Employers Federation (DEF), Achille Joseph, has also called for an inquiry into what he described as the “impotency of the security forces in Dominica” in the days following Hurricane Maria.

 

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57 Comments

  1. Laplaine Observer
    November 27, 2017

    Thanks to the foreign security forces who helped put an end to the looting where the there was a total failure of the Dominican police force.

  2. factual
    November 27, 2017

    These business places new that hurricane Maria was going to hit the island. The could have paid security officers to protect their business places and stop depending on the few police officers to secure whole of Dominica during hurricane or second the PM should have called a state of emergency prior to the hurricane. yes the police officers take the oath but its difficult to see your people suffer. At the end of the day all public servants wants the same salary with police officers. while they are with their families police officers would be there risking their lives for what

  3. Mexican
    November 27, 2017

    Looting went on for 2 weeks after the storm in broad day light. So the ‘excusers’ and apologists are just being wicked talking about police homes being affected. When the police took their oaths they catered for that as well. U are making matters even worst by suggesting that police deserted their duty to check on their homes.

    The police have a hurricane resistant headquarters situated right in the middle of Roseau so they have no EXCUSE. Police have a (well armed) Special Services Unit (SSU) trained in EMERGENCY operations and DIFFICULT terrain. Furthermore if un-trained looters could find themselves in Roseau from all over Dominica and haul huge mattresses, stoves and TVs on their heads, what prevented the police from acting?

    Remember in some cases the police were actually on site and just looked on idly gone was the excessive enthusiasm and bravado they normally display when harassing politicians not supportive of the governments mis-doings

  4. no face
    November 26, 2017

    Police did nothing about the bombing of Gon Emanuel home, nothing about looting on the port, nothing about ministers looting the country’s money. now poor people looting for survival, and police should do something about it? what about all the money businesses making now by bringing up prices high on all items. there is more looting talking place at the top. Good job Carbon.

  5. November 26, 2017

    To blame the police is to display total ignorance. On the morning after the storm and for weeks after Dominica was in chaos, we were still searching for loved ones and burying the dead. Not because this was a perfect storm that we should expect a perfect response, the storm crippled the ability of the country to respond adequately. If the US had accidentally dropped a bomb on Dominica we would blame the US and demand compensation. Unfortunately we can’t blame the perpetrator of this crime or demand compensation so we blame the government and expect tax payers to compensate the businesses that were looted, at the same time suggesting that looters be given amnesty. This is just politics as usual and another example of Dominicans greed and selfishness.

  6. Massacre
    November 26, 2017

    Over the many years the Business Community has benefited tremendously from the Skerro led Gov’t. Now I want to see how many of them will put country before self and Party to support the inquiry into the poor response in the aftermath of maria.
    Things cannot remain the same if we want change . Just like the people of Zimbabwe who waited for 37 yrs with hope that never came had to push out this Tyrant just like any long serving leader.
    I think it is time we come together to demand that Skerrit leave so that Dominica can move in a positive direction. 17 years is enough in any Caribbean island. Change is good and we cannot do worse with any other leader.

    • Just Passing Through
      November 27, 2017

      So now you want to tell Dominicans how they should vote? We vote who we want. We have a choice and we make that choice. Comparing Dominica with with Zimbabwe is being ignorant of our Constitution and our rights.

  7. Sue
    November 25, 2017

    Some may find this commentary article by Dr. Finn interesting and appropriate to the discussion of police leadership.
    https://dominicanewsonline.com/news/homepage/news/commentary-carbon-maybe-part-of-the-problem-but-certainly-not-the-solution/

  8. SAD
    November 25, 2017

    Mr. Leblanc your political agenda stinks. Tell us about t your signature work. Just like the police force your work crumbled under the winds of Maria. Your work on the Soufiere and Scotts Head Road a full investigation is needed. Unless we don’t stop the fighting we will be punished again and again. Work towards building not destroying a broken and battered nation. Its appalling to see that how many demons Maria left in DA. :-| 8-O

  9. Prisca Ettienne
    November 25, 2017

    Tropical storm Erica came and we learnt nothing from it.
    God sent a much bigger disaster but still we have not learned a thing
    MY DEAR PEOPLE.. WHEN ARE WE GONNA LEARN?
    God gives and he takes away. When you all have, you forget about him.
    The Nation has become a Den of Iniquity. Dominicans had forgotten their identity and become like mini me America. Just like Sodom & Gomorrah. If our people don’t get on their knees and ask God to cleanse us from all our unrighteousness we will all go down into that Bottomless Pit. Remember, you can’t take nothing from this world with you down there.

  10. Malgraysa
    November 25, 2017

    It is very disconcerting to note that here appears to be a view held in Dominica that it is ok to loot. The absence of any strong condemnation by our government to date combined with a lack-lustre response by our police force reinforces that impression. There is a lot of outside attention on what is going on in Dominica at present and if if my reading of things is correct it does not bode well for outside investment coming into our country. People will be scared off. We really must convince potential investors that not only are they safe living here, but their investments likewise.

  11. Progress
    November 25, 2017

    The police force is just a joke. Let UWP have a rally in town and you will see how much police presence, SSU and how may streets that will be blocked out. Bunch of Jokers…

    • Massacre
      November 26, 2017

      Are you saying that the Police Force has become a Political persecution Force rather than a Law Enforcement Service to the people? If this is the case , I think Dominicans have to come out to make the ultimate decision at the polls.
      Right now the people who came down to vote are enjoying their lives in the U.S and England, I want you guys to look yourselves in the mirror and repeat” I am ashamed to help destroy my country.”

  12. curious cat
    November 25, 2017

    “WHO” chose the leadership of the police force???The business community will never directly confront you Mr WHO because of principle and policies and benefit for businesses, but you kno when businessman and bigman converge at BBQ on sunday Mr WHO you is a serious disaster!!

  13. Dr. Sam Christian
    November 25, 2017

    Mr. Leblanc is absolutely right.

    We need a commission of inquiry into the looting, burglary and vandalism. We must not excuse or accept that we are a lawless nation. I have read all the responses so far. Very good points on both sides. I understand the frustrations and the anger.

    Prince Charles was here. This is the British thing to do. Commission of inquiry is part of our British heritage. This is what democratic countries around world do. Everyone submits to questioning by learned, impartial, outside experts without an axe to grind. In communist countries and dictatorships just shut your mouth and carry on. Just ask Mugabe.

    Our response to the looting will define which kind of people we are. I for one have spoken to several rank and file police officers. I know they were ready & willing to perform their duty even while having families to secure. They have been under severe strain and fatigue. Police need to be issued weapons 24/7 to protect themselves while doing their…

  14. Cool Runnings
    November 25, 2017

    Most of you morons heads are stuck up your A##es just look at the type of comments you make under a moomoo news article. its so amazing moomoo talking :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

  15. November 25, 2017

    Businesses should sue God!

    I commend the police. Police are not super humans as many would want to think. Did the business community have a plans? E.H. Charles had a plan, Jolly’s had a plan they came very early to secure their businesses – ask them about it. Others stayed away to get compensated by the Insurance but the Insurance Agent was out very early doing his assessment. I witnessed the impact of the Hurricane and it was no riot of February 07.
    The looters were made up of women, children and men not usual suspects. They should have been shot? What authority did the police have to shoot?
    Get a grip.

    • Roseau
      November 26, 2017

      You are such a fool! We all know know that the Hurricane was no fault of Skerrit of the Police Commissioner , what we are saying is that their response to Political Opposition activities were far more reactive than that too the aftermath of the Hurricane.
      Carbon was a no show and there was no leadership before, during and after Maria. There should be some consequences for that , if we say we are a democratic country.
      Business owners were left to defend their property in a country that profess to have an El-supremo , I guess Skerro is only a leader in peace times.

  16. Let The Truth Be Known - Original
    November 25, 2017

    It is difficult to say that the police should have been present, even though we wished so. Consider the state Roseau was in after Hurricane Maria. Did you not see the pictures? It looked like a war zone. Roads were impassable/blocked.
    The police officers have a house, a family. Do you know in what state they were? Did they lose their roof? Did they get soaked if their roof went?
    We must be careful not to blame the Police Commissioner and judge him. Put yourselves in his situation during and after Hurricane Maria.
    The looters are not to be condoned. Most of them may be habitual thieves, waiting for an opportunity to steal what they can get. What if the police had shot them? What would be the outcry in Dominica and worldwide where Dominicans presently reside?
    For God’s sake! Cease also putting politics in everything and stick to the issue.
    Let us all try to build-up D/ca in whatever manner possible. The Lord is expecting this of us with no exception.

    • Me
      November 27, 2017

      I was in Dominica during Maria. The police were there and their first priority was to secure the Prime Minister and get HIM out of the country. We were left to fend on our OWN.

  17. Governance
    November 24, 2017

    I am not into party politics. I have learnt that the Commissioner of police promised to patrol the Streets of Roseau immediately after the hurricane. This was a daft promise. How do any of us expect a police officer to leave his family in distress and patrol the streets of Roseau. How many of you would do this. In disaster preparedness and management, the first thing one learns is to protect yourself FIRST. So the police would have to ensure his/her family is safe before patrolling the streets of Roseau. In that regard the Commissioner would have had to make the necessary arrangements for his officers families to make good his utterances. That is the conversation we need to address. Now if police officers did not stop the looting, them – sad. Were there sufficient officers to stop the looting? I understand, some of the looters were violent. Again, safety first. What the police could have done, is photograph the looters and retrieve the goods. Commissioner was responsible.

    • Shaka Zulu
      November 25, 2017

      Thats why they are police officers. Make the sacrifices that needed to keep a nation. Shift system and rotation. These are tbe situations we need leadership and law enforcement. It tells our systems are weak and need overhaul. I understand polixe were affected but thats tbe oath they take. As i said before it is in these times you know what your country and people made out off. Selfishness, laziness, greed, deception is what runs our society today. When hard time comes we are easily conquered. If it was a foreign army invading all tbey have to do is burn those officers home and Dominica would fall cause all of them wpuld run and hide. We are a country without values and principles.

    • Lang Mama
      November 25, 2017

      Just imagine the level of ignorance among our people. Just shut up if the conversation is above you intelligence threshold. The police have taken an oath to protect and serve. Thats their job

    • UKDominican
      November 26, 2017

      If they are not willing to do this they should not be in the police force in the first place. They think it is a picnic?

  18. I Must admit
    November 24, 2017

    I must admit that I myself have a lot of concerns about the police and the why the government is not busy pushing for an investigation. I am really baffled! I know they said they have a review conducted by a Jamaican but we know that’s a joke and will not solve our problem.
    I am also shocked that the Jamaican is here to review the police but now Dominica is kind of settled post Maria, neither local, regional, or international investigators are investigating a report that came from an Antiguan radio station, 2 days after Maria, about the pm’s life that was allegedly being threatened to the point that CARICOM said they were sending 40 officers to protect pm. They said they got that information from the local police and confirmed by pm attorney Tony, who said he got that info as well. I heard it on WAVS radio in Florida and the reporter was commissioner Winston Barnes. Why has this thing never been mentioned in Dominica? Was it a fabricated lie? This needs to be investigated

    • Anonymous
      November 26, 2017

      Bull****! Who would threaten Skerrit in his own country directly after the hurricane? The man is paranoïd just like that coup that never was. Is just a story by Roosevelt & Valerie I guess as an excuse for him to run away from the island and leave evryone else to look after themselves.

  19. I Must admit
    November 24, 2017

    But you know Deputy Commissioner told the world during press briefing that the police shot two prisoners that escaped during Maria while he was addressing looting? So you need to check your facts with all your spins in the defense of a very corrupt regime

  20. Eddie
    November 24, 2017

    Police stand and saw people looting and did not do anything I believe persons found with looting item shold be taken but not prosecuted because they fail us and didn’t at least try to stop the looters so others would adhere

    • Anonymous
      November 24, 2017

      I don’t care what you say Eddy, stealing is stealing. Taking what does not belong to you is wrong and we all know that. They were determined to take what they could, even if they had no use for it. That is what we are paying 400 + police for to prevent but I can only guess they took their lead from the leadership, who left the country on the first helicopter out. No man, w e are a failed country, admit it.

    • Let The Truth Be Known - Original
      November 24, 2017

      The looters themselves should have known better. At a time as that they took advantage of the situation and commenced looting and also damaging the premises. They had no regard for the owners of the places they looted.
      I do not have empathy for the looters. If caught with goods which do not belong to them, they should be dealt with by the Law.

      • Labor Grave yard
        November 26, 2017

        You are running from the subject. The subject here is about lack of confidence within the police leadership. We all are upset with the looters but let’s stay on point Mr. Let the truth- original.

  21. Shaka Zulu
    November 24, 2017

    What about the folks who were shot and killed. Hurricane Maria dis not destroy the constitution and laws of Dominica and rhose in charge would sure wish that would happen. You know the strength of a man in challenging times. That is when leadership is at its best. The CDPF is a head without a brain sounded like he was there to protect political interest and not the public they took the oath to protect. In times like these you need steady hands and minds, not people who jump and react. The guy talking about who is bonafide Dominicans. We accept mediocrity in all walks of life so it is showing its ugly face. I hope they also investigate the shootings and killing of citizens. Laws still exist and even in war there are rules of engagement. Is it worth taking a man life over a stolen generator?

    • Lyn
      November 24, 2017

      More persons should have been shot to protect the Dominican citizenry. The police failed to protect the weak, the businesses people, the poor, the sick and so many more from the destructive hands of a few

      • Shaka Zulu
        November 26, 2017

        The problem of looting is as a result of our morals and values as a society. We are lost souls. This new culture and mindset has increased and cultivated throughout the years. Maria exposed the character of the people. A man who is grounded in sound principles would not get involved in theft after such situations. Desperate people do these things.

  22. mine
    November 24, 2017

    jealousy is a sin, you all want only you all to prosper you upset that he is the PM of Dominica. When will you stop Tony?

    • Roseau
      November 26, 2017

      Its fools like you that have Dominica in this mess !

  23. mine
    November 24, 2017

    When fire was st in Roseau you did not say anything, now mother nature came you want police to risk their life under storm to prevent what wicked people did.

  24. concerned
    November 24, 2017

    Lol…It is so sad how our country have turned out, simply because we gave all right and power to one man. It’s not too late, things can change. This Government needs purging.

  25. Skerrit I Voting
    November 24, 2017

    Had the police shot and injured anyone during that time ……. then the whole nation would have been on the PM’s back…….. “oh we are in crisis and police shooting people because they are hungry”. Then the PM would get the blame. You Mr. Leblanc, did you condemn the action of the protestors early this year who burned down businesses and destroyed properties? Did you applaud the police for being so careful not to hurt anyone, i guess not. We are to bias in this country.

  26. Skerrit I Voting
    November 24, 2017

    Dominicans we must not be unreasonable. We forgot how Maria creeped upon us, we forget the devastation of this country. Don’t you know that police officer had their families too and homes too on the dawn of Maria. Secondly we seem to have forgotten that the incident of the security guards who were left at a particular Company the night of Maria and were found dead in a container few following. This is what we wanted for the Police Officers. They have homes too and families. Where were the business owners they too were unable to make it to town because roads were blocked the whole place was in mess, no one expected the devastation that came upon us unawares. People are unfair. Not saying the looting was right…. and thats why so many are being brought to justice for the crime.

    • Jonathan Y St Jean
      November 24, 2017

      When will you remove your Red political glasses and see Dominica for the land that we all love irrespective of political party.The commissioner of police was in the media talking “big bout ya”that the police was ready willing and able to secure the country if a hurricane hit the island yet when the hurricane hit where was his readiness, willingness and ability to serve and defend.His own policemen we’re looting and when police from regional forces arrived on island,the chief was still in a daze.Now you want the state quo to remain in place,but the rest of us responsible Patriots want better for the country besides color politics.All respectful citizens will endorse the call for the enquiry.Will you be responsible and join us or we’ll say shame on you as well

      • Man bites Dogs
        November 24, 2017

        @ Jonathan, If you lots Workers supporters and so-called opposition leader LOVE Dominica as you all keep on saying then why is it your lots hell bend trying to destroy Dominica, why is it no one of the Workers party willing to help in the cleaning up, why is it that so-called Workers pretty boy leader quickly went to the US enjoying his self partying and begging for money to fill his own pocket, while the rest of the country surfers, Not one of you hypocrites would talk about that if it was Pm Skerrit workers party and supporters haters would have a sing and dance about it on Q 95 and Facebook talking rubbish as usual.

    • November 24, 2017

      @skerrit I voting Who expect the police ? to go out when a hurricane is raging , we’re talking about when things Calm down . If the looters could get there y couldn’t the police.

      • June
        November 24, 2017

        U are so right and I will add. The riot squad was on point on two occassions so why couldn’t they be this time around. All the training they did. They are being paid for this so let them work. Those looters where vandalizing in public its not like hiding. If the policemen are not fit for the job send them go. Or maybe we need to switch with the jamaicans for a few months so they can see how police operate and i know there will be a big difference in crime here, but not until the chief goes because its his fault why all this was not controlled. The foreign police said domican police force is too slack the chief prevented them from dealing with those criminals

      • June
        November 24, 2017

        The riot squad was on point on two occassions so why couldn’t they be this time around. All the training they did. They are being paid for this so let them work. Those looters where vandalizing in public its not like hiding. If the policemen are not fit for the job send them go. Or maybe we need to switch with the jamaicans for a few months so they can see how police operate and i know there will be a big difference in crime here, but not until the chief goes because its his fault why all this was not controlled. The foreign police said domican police force is too slack the chief prevented them from dealing with those criminals

    • Anonymous
      November 24, 2017

      Stealing is taking what does not belong to you and is wrong, wrong, wrong!

  27. Real!!!!
    November 24, 2017

    This gentleman Leblanc has always spoken up about the wrongs done by this GOVT in this country and has been victimize on several occasion.

    It is a breath of fresh air to hear others finally joining him to speak up about what is wrong like Achille Joseph even if he will be personally attacked.

  28. November 24, 2017

    The police and the Government has failed the businesses . I would sue them both But on the other hand they might be punished by the government . Almost everyone is afraid to talk in Dominica because of retribution . Thanks to the few that stand up, Hats ? off to you

  29. Paul Rossnof
    November 24, 2017

    Finally you all open your mouth! One word of advice, going forward stop bowing to Skerrit and the way he governs this island. All you see where it all got us. Time is running out.

    • Yo Yo
      November 24, 2017

      for real now you talking, for years before Maria your organisation mute NOW that your pockets have been affected its crying time. You just talking now don’t worry Dr Punjab will render you mute again when he hear what you saying in the public arena. You people are so dam predictable.

  30. viewsexpressed
    November 24, 2017

    I am disgusted, ashamed and in disbelief that our main and principle security organization the police were not visible at the dawn of the day of the hurricane not to be on the streets, in particular the City of Roseau to protect businesses that offer many jobs and employment to Dominicans. The UWP held a peaceful public meetig in the city of Roseau and almost the entire police force were out there to look out for the UWP, to this day we are not sure why. In the meantime the police our principle security again faux pais by positioning themselves only at the periphery of the UWP`s meeting and abandoned the rest of the commercial and business sectors of the city. There is something very troubling in the way our police force operates. Appears all security is directed to Skerrit and his political holligans and not in the interest of Dominica, Domincans and our business sectors, the heart and core of financial and employment in Dominica. Someone must be given their matching orders.

    • Marlene
      November 24, 2017

      Apparently Maria dis not teach our tongues a lesson. St. James warns us about the tongue. We continue write and say all kind of things because we are not in favour of one party or the next. Just be still and know your God. Cleanse our hearts! lets work together for once for the good of the Country.

    • Anonymous
      November 24, 2017

      Oh they were visible alright! Safeguarding Mr. Skerrit but not the rest of the country. Skerrit has the crown jewels apparently but I call them simply cojones pequeños.

    • UK Dominican
      November 24, 2017

      I don’t understand this defence of Mr. Skerrit! Isn’t he the one that directs the Minister that directs the police? Isn’t he the one that approves (.or disapproves 0all police appointments? What’s the matter with you guys. Mr. Skerrit must take the good with the bad, the blame as well as the credit but it appears he only wants the good stuff, all the rest simply does not exist or someone else’s fault. Come on, time to grow up and face the music.

      • Expat
        November 25, 2017

        You are right; one must take the good with the bad. My question to you: Where is the leader of the opposition? Where is the UWP? It is quite appalling to observe that the leader of the opposition is out of view , out of action, not participating or playing a positive role in Dominica’s situation post Maria. This is unacceptable. It proves once and for all that so called leader is inept, void of reason. Then , again maybe he cannot do better; he has to concentrate on pending litigations against him.

    • Expat
      November 25, 2017

      I am in disbelief that people like % and others who have changed their pseudonym are that hypocrital that they would not call Linton out for his inaction in Dominica’s recovery post Maria. Recently, the guy said that he was visiting various countries to solicit help for Dominica . It has been over a month now and I presume that he is back in Dominica. Has he informed the public of his achievements? Maybe it was a sham; bogus rhetoric. Linton needs to pass the mantle to someone who is more caring, more sympathetic, more genuine. On a different note I miss the “Skerrit must go” which was often used at the end of some individual’s post. It gave me a laugh and great comfort to see desperate people in action.

      • November 29, 2017

        This makes sense but when a minister from a country decides to go to work in a public office which is meant to be his office also and he is stopped by police officers with guns; ordering him to keep out off the premises this is the best attitude that Mister Linton has taken after the hurricane.
        Skerrit wanted all for him, the police, the other politicians in the same party as he is and those supporting him. This is not acceptable in a democratic country. Democracy is not existing anymore in Dominica since Skerrit is the prime minister.The man Skerrit called at 2 o’clock in the morning asking him for support although he was the head of state has now left Dominica for you.The future is not promising for us in Dominica and it is not due to maria but it is due to bad management of the now ruling party.

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