1831, the first act of Government for the then British Crown Colony
of St. Lucia, makes mention a Charter of Justice, a Royal Court
and a Court of Police. The Police Force in Saint Lucia was actually
established in 1834, only five years after the formation of the
very first Police Force as we know them today, in London, England,
by Sir Robert Peel. Prior to that, the military was probably the
only form of law enforcement agency, during the alternating periods
of French and British rule. Initially, the Force was headed by
an Inspector who was assisted by 3 Sergeants and a contingent
of 24 Corporals and Constables – a total of 28 men. The
Inspector had to perform the confusing duties of Magistrate by
taking depositions in criminal cases and acting as a prosecutor
the 1880s, W.P. Roches
held the post of Inspector. However, when J. Jukes-Hughes took
over in 1891, he styled himself Chief of Police. In April 1902,
the Secretary of States appointed E.D. Laborde – then Chief
of Police in St. Vincent – as the new Chief of Police in
St. Lucia. He also took a seat on the Legislative Council.
Over the years, the establishment of the Force increased and the
title of the Head of the Force was upgraded to Senior Superintendent
of Police, at the end of the Second World War.
By 1946, Major E.O. Plunkett, was the Senior Superintendent in
command of the Force. The authorised establishment of the Force
was now 171. The headquarters staff consisted of a Lance Corporal,
2 Constables and one Civil Sergeant (third class). Major Plunkett
reported that he continued to experience difficulty in attaining
the right standard to recruit to the Force, as most suitable young
men were attracted to work in the oil fields of the Dutch Antilles.
Some 1,923 reports of crime were made that year but no murders
were recorded. 3,697 Fer-de-lance snake heads were handed into
police for reward (at 1 shilling each or 25 cents EC in today’s
There was a total of 273 licensed motor vehicles on the island.
Major E.O. Plunkett reported that a lack of police transport (police
had no vehicles at all then) and poor communications continued
to be a serious problem, although there were plans to upgrade
the standard of the island’s police stations.
The Senior Superintendent performed the role of Inspector of Prisons
and was in charge of the Royal Goal.
He was also Chief Immigration Officer and Superintendent of the
Fire Brigade. He was the licensing authority for drivers, vehicles,
vessels, radios, firearms, butchers, and administered the Weights
and Measures Act. It was reported that during that year, the Force
had been relieved of the burden of Poor Law Relief – this
duty having been taken over by the Social Welfare Officer, although
a number of N.C.Os at out-stations, continued to act as Assistant
In 1953, the then Head of the Force, Lt. Col. E.M.V. James, departed
on appointment as Commissioner of Police of the Leeward Islands.
Shortly afterwards, Lt. Col. W. Farmer, was appointed to lead
That December, Capt. L.N. Alfonson, an ASP, took a squad of 20
police officers to Grenada to assist the local police there to
deal with disturbances. However, this was the reverse of a situation
earlier in the year when 31 police officers came from Grenada,
to assist St. Lucia in policing a strike by sugar workers in the
By then, the Force vehicle fleet was one bus, one Station Wagon,
two Morris pick-ups, one Austin pick-up and two motor cycles.
Police training was initially carried out in a rather simple form,
compared to the 6 months initial course of training, existing
It started in 1947, in the building opposite Police Headquarters
(what is known as Du Boulay Bottling Company Limited). The instructors
were Staff Sergeant Gregg and Corporal Monlouis. Amongst the first
25 recruits were, Stanley Scholar and Eseube Lawrence who were
both subsequently appointed Commissioner of Police.
The venue of the
after the 1948 Castries fire, to the barracks at Police Headquarters.
It was subsequently changed to Beanfield, Vieux Fort. On the 15th
of October 1954, the Force moved its Training School premises
to a building known as “Degazon House” at Morne Fortune,
Castries. This building currently houses Radio St. Lucia. Recruit
training ceased in St. Lucia in 1956, when the Regional Police
Training School opened at Seawell in Barbados. From time to time,
officers of the Force have been seconded to Seawell as instructors.
1981, because of insufficient places being available in Barbados,
the Force opened its own Training School at its present location
at La Toc, Castries.
In 1956, Mr. Farmer was transferred to Trinidad & Tobago and
on the 11th of April, Mr. David Douglas Mc Goun, assumed the leadership
of the Force. It was also during that year that the Special Reserve
was authorised and formed.
Later under the stewardship of Mr. Mc Goun, there was much dissatisfaction
within the Force, particularly amongst some of the lower ranks.
It was felt that local officers were being overlooked in promotions
and that the men were not being properly treated overall. This
came at a time of political difficulties in the then colony and
emotions ran high.
From May 1961, the “St. Lucia Herald” started to publish
articles deeply critical of Mr. Mc Goun’s leadership of
the Force. In July 1961, the famous ‘Black Book’ appeared
(so called because of the colour of its cover). It was published
by the Central Committee of the Welfare Association. The walls
of Police Headquarters were daubed with slogans against Gazetted
On 23rd August1961,
Mr. Mc Goun was taken ill and entered hospital. On the 11th of
September 1961, Mr. Winfred Farmer returned to St.Lucia, to take
over the leadership of the Force. It was a tense situation then,
as a proposed demonstration was planned for that day. Mr. Farmer
managed to persuade the Force that it was not in their long term
interest to do so. Mr. Farmer left St. Lucia on the 24th of September
1961, and Mr. Lynch-Wade, the then Deputy took over command of
the Force. On that very day, a Commission of Enquiry was appointed
to enquire into the actions taken by the local officers. That
Commission was headed by Justice J.W.B. Cherry, Mr. Robin Struthers
– a Trinidad businessman, a former Chief Superintendent
of the Metropolitan Police in London and two local businessmen.
The enquiry concluded in October 1961.
the 2nd of November 1961, Mr. Mc Goun resumed his duties from
sick leave. Discipline broke down completely, with a number of
members of the Force refusing to work under his leadership. On
Saturday 4th November 1961, the situation grew steadily worse
with numerous sick reports and keys to offices not being found.
Telecommunications were put out of order. At 1.00pm, Mr. Mc Goun
was sent on leave and Mr. Lynch-Wade resumed his acting stewardship
of the Force.
On the 3rd of January 1962, Mr. Frederick Cannon, former ACP i/c
Crime of the British Guiana Police Force, arrived in St. Lucia
and assumed command as Chief of Police.
On the 6th of January 1962, another Commission of Enquiry was
appointed to enquire into the events of the 2nd to 4th November
1961, under Sir Erick Halliman. Both Cherry and Halliman reported
on the 12th of February 1962. Subsequently, disciplinary action
was taken against some of the ring leaders and others were called
upon to retire.
Under Cannon's leadership, morale in the Force seems to have improved
and normality returned.
In 1963, Mr. Cannon reported the regular strength of the Force
to be 245 officers, with 16 civilian employees and 50 Special
Reserves. Mr. Cannon was the only Caucasian officer (although
he was a Guyanese national) and whilst the majority of the members
of the Force were St. Lucian nationals, there were members from
British Guiana, Barbados, Dominica, St. Vincent, French Guiana,
Antigua, Nevis and Montserrat. The total number of crimes reported
Chairmanship of the Film Censorship Board was another function
the Chief of Police then had to perform.
.The police fleet consisted of 2 buses, 3 Station Wagons, 5 land
Rovers and 8 motor cycles, excluding Fire Brigade appliances.
In 1965, a new Police Ordinance was published and this remains
in effect, albeit in amended form, today. Force Standing Orders
were also published during that year but there was a revision
of those Standing Orders in 1990.
3 members of the Force were seconded to Ascension Island for police
duty .In February 1966, Her Majesty the Queen and Prince Phillip,
visited St. Lucia. Then the word ROYAL was bestowed on the title
of the Force. The title was then ROYAL ST. LUCIA POLICE FORCE.
Mr. Cannon was also decorated by the Queen on admission to membership
of the Royal Victorian Order. On the 1st of March 1967, St. Lucia
became an Associated State in association with Great Britain.
The responsibility of the Force passed from the Administrator
to the Honourable Premier. On this date, Mr. Samuel H. Brooks,
an Antiguan, assumed command of the Force and was the first to
be designated Commissioner of Police.
Cannon had left St. Lucia after the midnight ceremony of Statehood,
along with Mr. Gerald Bryan, the last Administrator of St. Lucia,
on board the symbolically departing British warship. In 1967,
the Police Credit Union was formed. In 1972, Mr. Stanley Clement
Scholar succeeded Mr. Brookes as Commissioner of Police. He was
the first St. Lucian to command the Force. In 1976, Mr. Scholar
was succeeded by Mr. Emesly L. Pierre who commanded the Force
until 1979. He was subsequently appointed Commissioner of Police
in his native Dominica.
On the 9th of August 1979, Mr. Euzebe A. Lawrence was appointed
Commissioner of Police. He held that post until he retired in
On the 2nd of October 1982, Mr. Cuthbert D. Phillips was appointed
Commissioner of Police upon Mr. Lawrence's retirement.
In 1983, members of the Special Services Unit of the Force, served
in the United States led military action in Grenada.
On the 3rd of May 1984, the Marine Unit of the Force received
a 65 ft. vessel named “Defender” from the USA for
Coast Guard duties. Initially, 3 US Coast Guardsmen trained the
Marine Unit but subsequently, officers of the British Royal Navy
assisted in its operational role.
“Defender” joined the Marine Unit’s other vessel,
“Helen II” which was donated by the Canadian Government
in 1981. In 1986, whilst undergoing sea trials, “Helen II”
unfortunately caught fire and was completely destroyed.
In 1986, the establishment of the Force was 490, the Band 46,
Marine Unit 38 with 19 civilians employed. There were 38 police
vehicles in serviceable condition.
In January 1988, a Commission of Enquiry was appointed to review
the Administration, Command and Discipline of the Force, under
the chairmanship of Mr. Karl Hudson-Phillips, assisted by Mr.
Eustace Bernard, former Commissioner of Trinidad and Tobago.
They reported in August 1988. As a result of their report, Mr.
Phillips and two senior members of the Force were retired with
immediate effect in the interest of efficiency.
Mr. Clive Sealy, a former acting Commissioner of Police in Trinidad
and Tobago, was appointed Commissioner of Police. He served until
the 31st of December 1991, when he proceeded on pre-retirement
leave. On the 1st of January 1992, Mr. Algeron W. F. Hemmingway,
a retired Police Commander of the Metropolitan Police, was appointed
Commissioner of Police. After Mr. Hemmingway’s tenure, other
Commissioners of Police included, Mr. Vernon Augustin, Francis
Nelson and Brian Bernard.
Royal St. Lucia Police Force is headed by Ausbert Regis, Commissioner
of Police. He is assisted by three Assistant Commissioners of
Police. One Assistant Commissioner of Police is responsible for
Community Policing (Territorial Policing) and Training. Another
is responsible for Crime, Discipline and Prosecutions, whilst
the third has responsibility for Operations. There is also an
Administrative Officer who has responsibility for the support
services related to the Police Force.
As at September 2003, the Royal St. Lucia Police Force had an
establishment of nine hundred and forty seven (947) Officers with
an actual compliment of eight hundred and thirty one (831). The
Establishment and Strength include regular Police Officers and
Special Police Constables. Special Constables generally perform
the same duties as regular Police Officers. They are, however,
subject to a contract which is renewable every three years. It
should also be noted that the Police Establishment in St. Lucia
includes the Coast Guard, Band, and Immigration.
For territorial purposes, the island of St. Lucia is divided into
Northern and Southern Divisions. Northern Division comprises of
eight Police Stations whilst Southern Division comprises of five
Police Stations. Each Division is headed by a Superintendent of