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.