On Monday, 11 March 2019, Councillor Cruyff Buckley made a speech about policing on St Helena during the Adjournment Debate in the formal meeting of Legislative Council. The speech contained a large number of inaccurate statements that were conveyed as facts and which I would now like to take the opportunity to correct.
Councillor Buckley also used the Adjournment Debate speech to express a number of personal viewpoints and judgements. One viewpoint in particular stands out. Councillor Buckley states: ‘In America, the policeman is a working class hero. In England, the policeman is a working class traitor. Who are the working class traitors on this little Island of St Helena?’ Councillor Buckley seems to be suggesting that St Helena Police Officers are traitors. The police officers he refers to are your family and friends who work hard to ensure St Helena is a safe place in which to live, work and invest. They are doing exactly what the Government of St Helena wants them to do – they are making the Island safe and yet Councillor Buckley seems to regard them as traitors. I strongly reject this assertion.
Councillor Buckley also states in his speech ‘why use a gun when a knife will do?’ I find this reference particularly distasteful given that in the last few weeks a police officer suffered knife wounds – the police officer was responding to a situation of distress and did not think twice for his own life.
St Helena Police Officers work with the people of St Helena and the Government to build a safe nation, they give people the confidence to disclose unlawful activities and ultimately ensure that offenders are held to account. This is happening more and more as you have all seen in recent months. A variety of people who may have thought they were untouchable have been, and are being, held to account.
The police will enforce the laws that are made or adopted by Councillors. If Councillors are concerned about the law not being correct then they should change the law.
I would ask you to take time to think about the people who make up the St Helena Police Directorate, their hard work, their commitment to you and your community. You should be confident that your Elected Members are representing you, not deliberately or inadvertently misleading you.
I am proud of the St Helena Police Directorate and proud of my staff. Please remember that our intent is always to make you and your families safe.
I am sending a full response on each of the points raised by Mr Buckley to him personally, pointing out the factually incorrect and misleading statements and misrepresentation. The factual corrections are also attached to this statement.
Chief of Police David Lynch
1 April 2019