Teenager Charged With Impersonating a Police Officer And Working for Weeks Undetected at South St George Police Station in Grand Anse
Acting Police Commissioner Winston James and the other members of the High Command at Fort George have been left embarrassed over the manner in which a 17-year old youth managed to infiltrate the Royal Grenada Police Force.
Well-placed sources told THE NEW TODAY that the youngster identified as Akim Andrew of Gouyave, St. John was able to move into the South St. George police station and take up work as a full-fledged officer with the force.
The youngster has since been arrested and charged for the offence of impersonating a Police Officer.
Officer in Charge of the Community Relations Department (CRD) of RGPF, Superintendent Sylvan McIntyre confirmed to this newspaper Tuesday that the incident did happen.
However, Supt. Mc Intyre was very tight-lipped and cagey about giving out information on the incident.
He said: “…There was an occurrence and the matter is currently under investigation and there has been a minor that has been assisting us with the investigation. It occurred just before the Christmas holidays.
“…As I said before the matter is under investigation…information related to the occurrence is sketchy at the moment. It took some time to obviously make sure that the force is doing the right thing before an actual charge could have been preferred but the matter is under investigation.
“A charge has been made against someone and you would know that there is a particular procedure in dealing with persons who are considered to be minors or juvenile – that is a person under the age of 18 and so that has to be balanced very carefully and we are pursuing all the legal conditions or any circumstance that may be associated before we could do a proper release.
Supt. Mc Intyre acknowledged that the incident of a 17-year old infiltrating the rank and file of the police force is definitely cause for concern.
However, he cautioned that one should first wait on the outcome of the probe into the circumstances surrounding the incident.
“Let us wait until we’ve gotten to the point where somebody is actually convicted of an offence before we can say…”, he remarked.
But the senior police officer admitted that “where there is an apparent breach of security in any state, in any country, it would give the authority something to think about deeper and it would be a matter of concern definitely.”
THE NEW TODAY was told that the 17-year old was often spotted at the Gouyave Police Station mixing with the rank and file members of the force.
Speculation is rife that he was assigned to the Gouyave station to do community work for an alleged infringement of the law.
A police insider said that many police officers from some of the other stations around the island thought that the youth was one of them on seeing him at the Gouyave station on a regular basis.
According to the source, the youngster showed up at South St. George station allegedly to visit his father who is a police officer and managed to infiltrate the station.
“I understand that when he (the 17-year old) arrived at the station, the vehicle was just about to leave the yard with some officers and the youth man jumped up on the vehicle to go with them.
“The police officers accepted him because some of them had seen him before in Gouyave and assumed that he was a police officer and nothing was wrong with him going with them on the mission.
The source spoke of the 17-year old returning with the officers and managing to integrate with the other officers at the station and going out on other assignments with them.
According to the source, the 17-year old was only discovered to be an imposter when an officer asked him about the number assigned to him in the force.
“He (the youth) gave a particular number and someone said that can’t be so because he knew another officer who had that same number. When he (the youth) was asked again for his number he gave another one and that resulted in people wanting to find out more about him”, he said.
It is not the first time that RGPF has been infiltrated by an outsider.
In the 1980’s, a Vincentian criminal was discovered working as a police officer and performed the role of driver for the then Acting Commissioner of Police, Samuel Brookes who was also from St. Vincent.
THE NEW TODAY understands that Commissioner James would most likely do a shake-up at South St. George in light of the bungling for allowing an outsider to infiltrate the police force in such a manner.