Saint Vincent and the Grenadines: Requirements and procedures to obtain a police report from within Saint Vincent and the Grenadines as well as from abroad; whether there is a national standard format of the report issued by the police stations; if so, the information it contains
|Publisher||Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada|
|Publication Date||28 October 2011|
|Citation / Document Symbol||VCT103852.E|
|Related Document||Saint-Vincent-et-les Grenadines : information sur les exigences et la marche à suivre pour obtenir un rapport de police depuis Saint-Vincent-et-les Grenadines et depuis l'étranger; information indiquant si une forme type de rapport est utilisée dans les postes de police; le cas échéant, information sur les renseignements qu'il contient|
|Cite as||Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines: Requirements and procedures to obtain a police report from within Saint Vincent and the Grenadines as well as from abroad; whether there is a national standard format of the report issued by the police stations; if so, the information it contains , 28 October 2011, VCT103852.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4ecdf1ec2.html [accessed 23 May 2013]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
Procedures to obtain police reports
In a telephone interview with the Research Directorate, an official at the Consulate General of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, in Toronto, stated that anyone wanting to obtain a police report must go through the central police station in Kingstown, St. Vincent, including for incidents that were reported at district police stations in other parts of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (6 Oct. 2011). A sergeant with the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Royal Police Force (3 Oct. 2011) and a representative of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Human Rights Association (SVGHRA) (10 Oct. 2011), who were both in contact with the Research Directorate through, respectively, a telephone interview and correspondence, said that an individual applies for a copy of a police report by making a written request to the Commissioner of Police. Both the sergeant and the consular official stated that the request should include the approximate date and the place where the report was made (St. Vincent and the Grenadines 3 Oct. 2011; ibid. 6 Oct. 2011). The consular official also noted that the requester should provide proof of citizenship and a description of the incident (ibid.). The sergeant and the SVGHRA representative reported that the fee to obtain the police report is 100 Eastern Caribbean dollars (SVGHRA 10 Oct. 2011; St. Vincent and the Grenadines 3 Oct. 2011) [38.48 Canadian dollars (XE 7 Oct. 2011)].
The sergeant stated that a person applying for a police report from Canada must send a power of attorney document drafted by a notary public, in Canada, authorizing a lawyer or immigration authority to obtain the report on the person's behalf (St. Vincent and the Grenadines 3 Oct. 2011). In contrast, the consular official stated that having a power of attorney "may help" when requesting a police report from Canada, but that it was not necessary (ibid. 6 Oct. 2011). The SVGHRA representative explained that Vincentians can request copies of their police reports regardless of where they are living, but added that her organization recommends making the request through a lawyer or human rights group (SVGHRA 24 Oct. 2011). In such cases, she said, the lawyer or organization would need a letter of authorization from the client (ibid.).
The sergeant explained that it is not standard procedure for victims to be given a copy of the police report when reporting a crime (St. Vincent and the Grenadines 3 Oct. 2011). Police reports are not computerized and are manually recorded and filed (ibid.). According to the sergeant, it takes approximately two or three weeks for requesters to receive their police report after making the request (ibid.). The consular official stated that it takes a few weeks to obtain a police report, and may take longer for reports made at district police stations (ibid. 6 Oct. 2011). He indicated that the amount of time can vary depending on where the report was made, the availability of records, and the volume of requests (ibid.).
The SVGHRA representative explained that her organization has assisted many clients to obtain their police reports, and that it usually takes between one and two weeks (SVGHRA 10 Oct. 2011). In her experience, the system for obtaining police reports generally works, but could be more "effective" as sometimes the original statements are not found (ibid.). In further correspondence, she also expressed the opinion that the police are "not very accommodating" when handling requests for reports made by individuals (ibid. 24 Oct. 2011).
Format of police reports
The consular official and the police sergeant stated that all police reports come on police letterhead and are officially stamped (St. Vincent and the Grenadines 6 Oct. 2011; ibid. 3 Oct. 2011). The sergeant specified that the letterhead is from the police commissioner's office and that the information in the report includes the name, age and address of the victim; the name, age, and address of the accused; and the date, place, time and nature of the offence (ibid. 3 Oct. 2011). For cases that go to court, information about the court hearing is also included in the report (ibid.; ibid. 6 Oct. 2011). The sergeant specified that in these cases, the date and time of the hearing and a summary of the results are included (ibid. 3 Oct. 2011). While the sergeant described the police reports as being "standardized" throughout the country, the consular official said that the information included in the report can vary depending on the nature of the case, although he gave as example those cases that go to court and include information about the hearing (ibid. 6 Oct. 2011).
This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. 6 October 2011. Consulate General of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Toronto. Telephone interview by the Research Directorate with the Consular.
_____. 3 October 2011. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Royal Police Force. Telephone interview by the Research Directorate with a sergeant.
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Human Rights Association (SVGHRA). 24 October 2011. Correspondence from a representative to the Research Directorate.
_____. 10 October 2011. Correspondence from a representative to the Research Directorate.
XE. 7 October 2011. "Currency Converter Widget."
Additional Sources Consulted
Internet sites, including: Amnesty International, Factiva, Human Rights Watch, Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Ministry of Justice, United Nations Refworld, United States Department of State, The Vincentian.