As the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda gets set to
celebrate INTERPOL’s anniversary in September, its former
commissioner, Vere Browne, will be honoured by that agency for his
exceptional service to the global police force.
Reports say that Browne, who served during the United Progressive
Party Administration, will receive the honour at a special ceremony
to be held at the John E. St. Luce Finance and Conference Centre on
Thursday, September 7.
During the event, the minister with responsibility for public safety,
Attorney-General Steadroy “Cutie” Benjamin, will deliver the
keynote address to an audience comprising ministers of
government, dignitaries, diplomats, and other officials, along with
members of the Police Force.
Some residents – including attorneys – are laughing at the irony,
given that Browne’s departure from the Force followed Benjamin’s
appointment as minister responsible for the Police.
Prior to Benjamin assuming office after the 2014 General Election,
he and Commissioner Browne had been involved in a legal conflict
that had gone all the way to the London-based Privy Council.
Essentially, the matter involved an attempt to prosecute Benjamin,
who had certified that the passport photo of an immigrant was, in
fact, the likeness of a deceased Antigua national.
The two other people involved had been convicted and sentenced to
prison; but the then-DPP had advised that the matter against
Benjamin not be pursued. However, Commissioner Browne had
countered that the DPP had no authority to instruct the Police to
discontinue an investigation.
Although the Privy Council upheld the Police’s position, the matter
went nowhere after Commissioner Browne was replaced following
the 2014 elections.
Before taking up the position as head of the local Force, Browne had
served, with distinction, in the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force.
Meanwhile, September 7 is the actual anniversary of the world’s
largest policing organization, which will be officially marking 100
This celebration of a century of international policing cooperation
will coincide with the day of the International Criminal Police
Commission, which was established on September 7,1923.