Saint Lucia
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P.M. Pierre Supports Sexual Harassment Policy for RSLPF

Prime Minister Philip J Pierre
Prime Minister Philip J Pierre

PRIME Minister Philip J Pierre says he supports the implementation of a Sexual Harassment Policy within the ranks of the Royal St Lucia Police Force [RSLPF] amidst allegations of sexual harassment against a high-ranking police officer.

These reports emanated over the past few weeks, particularly on social media.

However, no substantial evidence or investigation into this matter has been divulged.

The female group of the opposition United Workers Party (UWP) and other civil society activists have been clamouring for the authorities to address the issue. 

Speaking to reporters, Wednesday, PM Pierre stated that the attorney general has requested he “stay put” on this matter to allow the authority of law to take its course.

“The government cannot implement a Sexual Harassment Policy within the police force, this decision has to come from within the police force,” he said.

“There is a protocol that if someone is sexually assaulted, you go to the police and make a report,” added Pierre.

He recalled that there have been cases involving some prominent citizens in the country relating to accusations of rape and sexual assaults. 

“There (have) been people within high office in this country who have been arrested for rape …what happened there is that the police made a case no matter who the person is,” noted Pierre.

He referred to previous legislation, whereby if someone was “accused of rape, they were arrested.” 

In addition, Pierre said, “if you were accused of rape there was no bail for you.”

He recalled that someone was accused of rape and kept in custody, but the individual took his case to the High Court “and the court ruled that it was unconstitutional to have somebody in prison without bail for rape …and that is why there is bail for rape now.”

The prime minister stressed that he does not condone sexual harassment, no matter the individual’s status in society.

“I will not condone anybody who is involved in sexual harassment, I think it’s wrong …but I cannot in good faith do anything,” he explained, since there is a process in place that has to be followed through.

Pierre noted that the Police Welfare Association (PWA) is in a position to take on the matter with the law on its side, and so too, the police has the legal authority to apprehend and press charges against anyone involved in sexual harassment.

“The PWA represents the police and if you have so much evidence, you launch a case against the individual …we have never condoned any government minister who was accused of sexual harassment in public and nothing is done about it, we have never condoned that,” said the national security minister.

Some years ago, he recalled, a former Member of Parliament (MP) “went on a public stage …and called out a minister’s name and said you harassed me”, but nothing came out of this alleged issue.

“Now you have on the other side, people are saying (that) people did it but there are no names mentioned,” Pierre contended. He said the “big difference” in the two matters, is that whereas in the former matter “a name was called and somebody was identified, nothing happened. Right now, no names are called but one person is identified.”