Call made for inquiry into “impotency” of the police after Maria

Joseph said there is a correlation between security and business confidence. File photo

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

He said at a press conference on Thursday that police officers stood by while the private sector was “raped” and is heaping the blame on the police brass.

“We need an inquiry,” he stated.

According to Joseph, the matter was tabled in a meeting between the private sector and Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit “and he did not accept it.”

“The private sector needs an inquiry into why the police did not secure the investments of the people of this country and basically stood by while civilians and others raped the private sector,” he stated. “We need to know what happened and I am not blaming the individual police officers who may not have acted, I am blaming the brass, the leadership of the police force, probably to even go further, probably even to the extent of the head of government in this country.”

Joseph said he stood by on the Friday after Maria and witnessed four tons of refined sugar being looted from Josephine Gabriel and Company.

“I made several calls and attempt to get the police down to Canefield and they refused,” he alleged.

He went on to say he saw police officers looting sugar at the site.

“I actually had to call on a particular police officer who was looting sugar and spoke to him,” Joseph remarked.

He stated there is a direct correlation between security and business confidence.

“Where there is more security, there is greater business confidence,” he noted. “When there is lesser security, there is lesser business confidence. Ladies and gentlemen if you cannot secure business confidence and also domestic homes, our country is going to be in for a very, very rough time.”

At a press conference a few weeks ago, Deputy Police Chief Davidson Valerie, said the police did their best in the circumstances following the storm.

He said at the earliest opportunity after the hurricane, police officers were deployed in the streets of Roseau to ensure security.

“We saw a large number of persons, rather than coming together to maintain order… were engaged in rampant looting in the city,” Valerie stated. “The police had made all necessary efforts. Many of those persons were arrested but yet areas, where the police were unable to reach, were taken advantage of, businesses were taken advantage of.”

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  1. viewsexpressed
    November 27, 2017

    “The private sector needs an inquiry into why the police did not secure the investments of the people of this country and basically stood by while civilians and others raped the private sector,”…And they took the entire police force out to do Skerrit dirty work to go after Hon Linton and the UWP meeting in Lagoon. It is Hon Linton Skerrit and his clowns, including the police afraid of. They just cannot rise to that level of decency in office of the UWP Team.
    Skerrit must Go, he is a waste of time.

  2. Massacre
    November 26, 2017

    Let us start the inquiry by asking for Carbon to step down due to incompetency. He cannot do the job!

  3. Chang
    November 25, 2017

    of course police wont investigate and nobody gets charged with the looting (stealing) because the truth to be told there are too many people participated in it and its simply foolish to expect any actions from the PM… The most peculiar thing is that there is no a condemnation of looting in Dominican society and even in these comments you blame police but you trust me there is a very good justification exist in your heads – Se mize ke fi makak manje piman. But if you are looking for the ones to blame, look into the mirror!
    Dominican society is morally rotten and corrupt and only foreign military intervention and foreign aid prevented further killings, rapes and other atrocities…without them you would fall into abyss in a matter of weeks if not days.
    Looting was a physical expression of Dominican nature – violent and able to take things with brute force. Of course you cant blame yourself – its hurricane Maria destroyed the economy.

  4. Cool Runnings
    November 25, 2017

    I don’t understand we want the police in all business places , in all government buildings and even in our bedrooms too! cut them in four so it will have enough to have everywhere.

  5. The Darkness
    November 24, 2017


    How long have I been telling you people that the police are just a useless waste of tax?!

    They even argued that they should receive a 15% increase?!!!!!!!!

    I hope taking post Maria into retrospect, that this unfair increase in Police Pig Salaries is cancelled and left for serious review!

    A pay-by-merit system should be implemented, where the hardest working police receives the most… this will definitely get them to WANT to do their damned work.

    You police lost my respect years ago and now… i don’t think i can tell future children to do so…

    Carbon and his cronies… your political struggles are the cause of all of this mess, the financial business state Dominica is in after the “raping” of that monster storm…

    In another time, you would be hanged!! (should seriously consider it)…

    Useless garbage should have their office on 1 of Labass’ many smelly mountains… no?

    I hope a fair judgement occurs!!

  6. mine
    November 24, 2017

    Arrest the looters you all complain what is all you problem.

  7. Disheartened
    November 24, 2017

    For my part, I will only relate one incident of the many I saw the morning after the hurricane passed. I watched 3 police – BIG, strong young men, armed (one with an M-16rifle) – stand by and watch as less than a block away a man came out of a shop carrying a new speaker. The police with the M16 yelled at the man “hey, take that back.”. The thief calmly walked away with the speaker and the police did NOTHING but watch him walk away. The police were not much more than window dressing – out being seen, but doing nothing while businesses were being looted mercilessly. My question is: WHAT WERE THEIR ORDERS?

  8. Mr. Jedi
    November 24, 2017

    This would only be a standard practice for any country or business community anywhere.

    Looting the day of the storm and day after is assumed as an after effect of of the hurricane, but two weeks on is and from all reports looting was basically common place in the hours before the curfew.

    Also, the statement made by the chief in a press conference about police all huddled in headquarters til the morning, simply showing that the looters have more confidence in their own abilities that the defenders of law and order in such a incident.

    Another issue is regarding arrests after the fact, as this is merely a bandage that would not have been necessary if the police dispersed or halted the initial action.

    Police respond faster to marijuana than plainly visible theft of private property.

  9. Dr Clayton Shillingford
    November 24, 2017

    Very interesting and differing commentary on what actually occurred ..As usual instaed of seeking facts many comments are negative to Achille Joseph..I agree that there should be an investigation to find out the truth of what occurred including the charges that police were involved in looting as well..These matters cannot be left to languish..

  10. anonymous2
    November 24, 2017

    There are a few officers that try to do their jobs (barring politics), however, most are just there to collect the salary. DA is no longer a safe place.

  11. Eddie
    November 23, 2017

    Daniel Carbon and the rest incompetent need to be fired period!! These guys are just some puppets. .it’s the same skerite and blackmore thate put them there.. these guys has failed the country.. Who goin to invest in a country with such weak security foundation. It’s time to get rid of that government they there too dam long…we need new vision ideas .. and a complete reshuffle of that that police force.. we need people with degrees and education to run that police force.. a more professional system.. not a bunch of fools who have never gotten formal education and does not operate by principles and ethics.. .. what explains an ASP or inspector who has only been to high school.. give the youngt people with education a chance to be the leaders and pit away those incompetent political police, especially the one who calls the blasted radio he should be charged and fired for violation of the law..

  12. Lang Mama
    November 23, 2017

    Let us not overlook the fact that the police for ehstever reason was focused on protecting Astaphan. It is,worth asking why so much was placed on protecting Astaphan and not the others.
    Was this by design

    • Mamy
      November 24, 2017

      Funny you should say that by I observed exactly the same. What is it these people have got that others don’t? Priivilege, but why?

  13. Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
    November 23, 2017

     “The police had made all necessary efforts. Many of those persons were arrested but yet areas, where the police were unable to reach, were taken advantage of, businesses were taken advantage of.”Achille Joseph).

    Achille, boy there is no point of me reminding you that I am no fan of yours, although I believe we cross path before in person; I might be wrong. Mind you his has nothing to do with; as they like to say hatred in our country. I anything it might be a personality clash, which derived from you idea that Sunday’s should become a regular work at home which I detested!

    I do not understand how you are suggesting the police force be investigated public sector, and then claim the police made all necessary efforts. To me right there you are speaking on both sides of your mouth. If indeed you are able to identify a police you saw stealing, and call it stealing rather than looting, you should not rest until he is fired from the force, rather than condemn them all!

    • Still living here!
      November 23, 2017

      Read again: Mr. Joseph is quoted, then the Commissioner is quoted. Both speeches were not by Mr. Joseph.

    • Trying to help
      November 23, 2017

      Please read the report again,you seem to have mixed up the speakers

    • Kermit Da Frog
      November 24, 2017

      I know you read is Valerie that stated what you quoted, but carry on, typical dummy in a can!

    • Just Thinking
      November 24, 2017

      Francisco, please read carefully before you begin to comment. The statement in quotations “The police had made all necessary efforts. Many of those persons were arrested but yet areas, where the police were unable to reach, were taken advantage of, businesses were taken advantage of.” were not uttered by Achille Joseph but by Deputy Police Chief Davidson Valarie. You say “To me right there you are speaking on both sides of your mouth.” but it seems here to me that your mouth speaks faster than your eyes can perceive or your brains can process or you are just blinded by your animosity towards Achille for something he said earlier which has nothing to do with police behavior after Hurricane Maria.

      • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
        November 24, 2017

        You seems to be the one who need to read the article over, because your comprehension of the English seems to be different to mine!

        What can’t you understand Joseph wrote they did their best: in reality they made the best effort they could have made!

        Well, if he believes under the circumstances they put out their best effort; what is there to investigate, what type inquisition he needs?

        It is my understanding that the English language in Dominica does not mean the same as it means elsewhere, but be informed I am very fluent in the English language, grammatically, and otherwise okay. I do understand what I read: Now if you want me to break it down into some Wesley broken English which you might easier comprehend I can accommodate you!

    • Just Thinking
      November 24, 2017

      @Telemaque- You boast of being fluent in English and grammar but maybe it would suit you better for articles to be written or spoken in your broken Wesley English which apparently is what you understand, but I reckon you need to go back to kindergarten to do READING COMPREHENSION because apparently only you and no one else interpret what was said as the words of Achille Joseph. IGNORANCE CAN BE A BAD THING BUT AROGANCE IS WORSE.

      • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
        November 25, 2017

        “The police had made all necessary efforts. Many of those persons were arrested but yet areas, where the police were unable to reach, were taken advantage of, businesses were taken advantage of.”Achille Joseph).

        Just in case you missed it or cannot read, since like an idiot you have to write in block letters: Note that in the quote above are the words of Achille, so all of you can’t read and understand, read the above and simply shut up; just shut!

        Those are not my words; they are the words of Achille Joseph: I do not use drugs, nor am I an alcoholic, and if its  one thing I am certain of is that; I know  how to read and understand what I read!

        I don’t know what school the majority of you attended.

  14. dee
    November 23, 2017

    The right thing you should have done was tell de chief and let them go to his home and get de sugar, then , only then , you would have respect for your self . i suspeck you have from de same sugar at your home .
    After hurricane David a certain rank officer who was supposed to be in charge of junior officers guarding a wharehouse, did wrong , de next morning we were following a trail of paint leaving de wharehouse in CID jeep. de paint lead us to de Sgt home where his car was parked . some tins of paint were still in the boot of his car with one opened and leaking through a hole in his boot . His … was in the jeep and straight to de Chief office
    the rest is history .

    • Me
      November 24, 2017

      Francisco, what is the difference between looting and stealing? Is one perhaps a more honourable form of stealing than the other? I’m sure the victim would not see any difference.

      • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
        November 24, 2017

        Okay; here is the difference: Stealing is to take the property of another wrongfully, habitually, it is to take, or appropriate without right or leave and with intent to keep or make use of wrongfully.

        To loot can simply be defined as goods of considerable value taken in war, or something appropriated illegally very often by force or violence, in this case to plunder or ransack in war!


        Actually both words means the basically same; however, it is more humiliating to be called a thief, since stealing could be a habitual thing! The police officer is thief: There are plenty of thieves in Dominica eh, in high places! There is one certain fella eh (I doh can call him name on DNO eh, but him is de boos crook thief in do country). him at de top of de lather thieving night and day, him must be de richest man in de country eh!

        No name on warrant: except him name must be Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque eh!


  15. dee
    November 23, 2017

    shut your damn mout
    you dow have no balls as you pretending to .
    where de report , complaint , statement to de Chief .
    you called upon officer STEALING and de Commissioner dunno .
    Is man like you dat deserve to get sue when you go in public and make claim .
    Looting is stealing and if you dow tiff yourself then you would visit de Chief office , if not he should have you for making such statement to discredit de entire force .
    there are bad elements in this here force to be weeded out, but man like you fraid your shadow .
    SO SHUT UP .

  16. Not Fit For Purpose
    November 23, 2017

    Dear Sir

    When a system is broken, how do you expect it to function efficiently in the most testing time of times. The police for like the many other institutions in Dominica is not fit for purpose.

  17. Connecting the dots
    November 23, 2017

    I believe it’s time we get serious in this country. Now that we are almost 100% under the mercies of the UN, I suggest a strong letter that details all of these concerns, should be addressed to Skerrit and copied to the UN because too many things went wrong during Maria and some how Skerrit doesn’t want them investigated. Another concern that I have that I believe needs to be investigated is that of the death and burial of that Russian woman that Hon. Collin Mcintyre gave a lot of detailed information on in a video. I don’t even want to talk about the food distribution we hear government ministers had a lot to say on video. It’s time we get serious man. We can’t be so dependent on the UN and we not getting them involved about the issues that affect us here. Enough is enough and if I have to write to the UN I shall do so.

  18. Paul Rossnof
    November 23, 2017

    We do not only need an inquiry into the police but also an inquiry into WHO put the top brass of the police where they are at present. That inquiry if conducted totally independent would reveal many many things that are wrong in Dominica and they trace back right to the top of Government. One example amongst others: arrest and interrogation of opposition politicians.

  19. Jonathan Y St Jean
    November 23, 2017

    Police themselves we’re looting and stealing and now they want the public to return stolen goods and face charges,so what about the police who are known to have stolen as well.Prior to the hurricane the incompetent chief, dressed in his army fatigues,said that the police were ready willing and able to provide protection yet when the hurricane did strike the bragadocio vanished into thin air just like the police.I fully endorse the call for an inquiry,also the private sector should set up and fund it’s own inquiry into this shameful episode to ensure it never happens again.The prime minister will defend the chief of police because it’s a reflection on him and the Minister of national security. I’m hoping that Dominica gets a first class police service out of this fiasco instead of what we had prior to the hurricane.

    • dee
      November 26, 2017

      when you say ”prior to the hurricane ” please stipulate , ‘since this present PM came to power ” you know fully well how we handled hurricane David , non of that koshoni , when i was eventually allowed to visit my home 4 days after David i was called straight back to duty the next day ; The Command was ”check on your your family , once they are ok fall back here for duty 10 o clock shift tomorrow morning ”.I walked 5 miles with a 60lbs havasack on my back up hill and down hill, when i got home, my dad was slightly injured in his leg , but he woke me up at 3 o clock in the morning reminding me i had to fall in for duty at 10 .
      None of that nonsense now about police have family too
      ”You sign up for this when duty calls, fall in ”

  20. November 23, 2017

    This is what’s wrong with us Dominicans he is saying he saw police officers looting and he wont mention there names everything is a secret everybody is scared to call this people out , they are like cockroach shine the light on them then they will stop , if people don’t call names and report those crime it will never stop , I heard that there were people of stature out there looting , but no one is talking it is a shame, we have come to this, sorry Dominica will never rise again until we get out of that slave mentality, what is it that we are afraid of ?. everybody is leaving the Island to the foreigner’s , Cabon the chief of police is dead weight bringing us down into a black hole, he need to resign he promise the people he would saturate the city with cops after Maria he did not I need to say no more. He must go. sorry to say the police leadership…

  21. grips
    November 23, 2017

    but police were looting… ……supposingly reputable people looted. This looting was an attack on the Country no managed by the law. Terrible.. The authorities know of looters and swept it under the carpet

    • anonymous2
      November 24, 2017

      In times of disaster and peril, you will see the true nature of the people in a place.

  22. November 23, 2017

    You should be ashamed of your self Achille Joseph, who in their right mind would have braved this monstrous disaster? the lost of life would have been much greater. “impotency” the word used to describe Dominica’ security apparatus in the midst of mayhem, shows your own true impotency. Trained soldiers desert in the height of battle, Maria, was beyond all known conflicts.

    • Anonymous
      November 24, 2017

      Bob, double standards I’m afraid. That same police managed to secure the P.M. barely after the storm had abated.

  23. Shameless
    November 23, 2017

    Skerrit is the ultimate head of national security aided by Blackmore, Levi Peter and Valarie. This is shameful and shows utter incompetence in the administration. The same can be said for the customs and port authority management after Maria. I can’t wait to see Carbon and Valerie hit the street for incompetence but even more the Bad-willed guy.

    Dominica is indeed a failed state with clueless political appointees running rampant and in the process dragging down the good name of Ma Dominique. But, sa-bon pour nou because just a few months ago we were digging our heads in the sand while praising the Punjabi PM like a reincarnated Jesus. The same business owners that were moo moo have now found their voices because chew-yoe-paytay. We will rise again by the grace of god but Skerro, his cabal, Carbon, Valarie and the Bad-willed idiot MUST go!

    Assertive like Mama Eugenia! :twisted:

  24. Looking
    November 23, 2017

    Thanks, at least you are are standing up for what is right. Bro don’t worry you will be crucified but its time things are done right in this beautiful Dominica. Too many political appointees, square pegs in wrong holes. Lets get it right people, lets reward honest hard work. We are living in an illusive world.

  25. jy
    November 23, 2017

    Change is a must

  26. Real!!!!
    November 23, 2017

    Achille Joseph I applaud your strong stand on this matter.
    As this will impact the investment climate and the ability to increase local employment……Inquiry Needed!!

    Local organizations and people in Dominica need to speak up, stop being fearful of this GOVT and the Police because this is tied to Dominicans long term survival this country.

  27. Dominican
    November 23, 2017

    Mr. Joseph is absolutely right. I witnessed that also. Boys, and girls with guns in fatigue uniform either standing by or participating in looting. Yet that same police force was on a hunt for the leaders of a phantom coup in Feb. of this year, with members of the parties opposing government harassed and arrested only to be subsequently released without charge.
    The focus of our police today is totally wrong. They are not there to protect government leaders only but first an foremost look after the interest of all our citizens, regardless of their political, or another persuasion. I have come to the end of my thither and unless there is a drastic change soon in the way our run I see no future for myself or many other people here, especially our bright young ones. I don’t know where I will go must leave I must, with a very, very heavy heart.

    • dee
      November 26, 2017

      i will tell you ”shut up” also; you even worse than Joseph because now you know Joseph come out in the open , you should tell him , lets get together with our facts and confront the Chief to take action” as you provide names , times , date and location of what you saw and be prepared to testify . i say you worse than Joseph because he could have been scared but now you know, two witnesses are better than one, so you could say ”lets do it in the interest of the other hard working, honest and dedicated Police officers and Dominicans by extension ”

  28. Hmmm
    November 23, 2017

    RSS took too long to be deployed. The RSS needs to have a quick reaction force where within 12 hours of a major incident or natural disaster at least 30 SSU/soldiers from different islands could be on the ground. For any island which a disaster or major emergency happens

    • anonymous2
      November 24, 2017

      That is wishful thinking. History has proven the outcome of people’s’ reaction in disasters. If there is no sense of unity in peaceful times, there will only be chaos when disaster hits.

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