MP Liburd to Police Commissioner: Spend valuable time fighting crime and not pick fights with opposition politicians
BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS (FEBRUARY 13TH 2017) – Parliamentary Representative for St. Christopher 2 (Central Basseterre) Hon. Marcella Liburd has told the Federation’s Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ian Queeley he needs to spend his valuable time in the fight against crime rather than “picking fights” with opposition politicians.
Ms. Liburd, also chairperson of the opposition St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP) in a written statement Monday expressed outrage over the verbal attack by Commissioner Queeley in response to concerns she had raised at last Thursday’s symposium on crime in St. Kitts and Nevis.
“I am truly appalled at the attack on me by the Commissioner of Police Mr. Ian Queeley, that ‘I used the platform of a National Crime Symposium to level a baseless attack on the integrity of the Police Service’,” Ms. Liburd said in the statement.
“Not only is this untrue but it is also disingenuous,” said Ms. Liburd, pointing out that to “suggest that my contribution at the symposium was calculated and designed to attack the integrity of the Police Force is false, misleading and appears to be a deliberate attempt to discredit me and my contribution to the symposium.”
She said Commissioner Queeley “fully knows that I was clearly criticizing the Prime Minister and the Minister of National Security (Dr. Timothy Harris) and the Government for politicizing the police force and gave two examples to support my point.”
“In one example I said that an official police report, in reporting on the arrest of the brother of the former Commissioner, mentioned that he was the brother of the former Commissioner. It was my recollection that it came from an official police report. If Commissioner Queeley says that is not the case, I take no issue with that,” she said.
The other example Ms. Liburd made reference to was the very first meeting between the Prime Minister and Minister of National Security Dr. Timothy Harris and the rank and file of the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force.
“I said that in that meeting the Prime Minister among other things said: ‘We get the rid of them’ in obvious reference to the Labour administration. In response, some police officers clapped and cheered in agreement,” she recalled.
“Commissioner Queeley failed to make mention of that in his statement,” said Ms. Liburd, who asked Commissioner Queeley “whether this in fact took place at that meeting and if it did whether this was an attack on the integrity of the police service.”
She is of the firm view that the “Commissioner’s statement deliberately took my remarks out of context to make a political statement.”
“I am rather disappointed that the Commissioner allowed himself to be used to satisfy a political agenda. The Commissioner’s statement is misleading, disingenuous and unfortunate. The citizens of this country would much prefer the Commissioner to spend his valuable time in the fight against crime rather than “picking fights” with opposition politicians.
Photo 1 – Hon. Marcella Liburd
Photo 2 – Mr. Ian Queeley