“For the TTPS to waddle into 2017 expecting that the murder rate will suddenly change simply on the grounds that the calendar did, is as naive and reckless as those who relied on ‘prayer’ as the best crime plan; even setting aside a day exclusively for this purpose.”
The following Letter to the Editor on the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service’s supposed inability to acknowledge its shortcomings—let alone to work on them—was submitted to Wired868 by Rudy Chato Paul Sr of D’Abadie:
Being the armchair criminologist I am—which puts me on par with those as eminently qualified who can be found at the nations’ prestigious academic institutions—I am easily offended when the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) decides to “play smart with stupidness” to quote the current Prime Minister.
That none of the other armchair criminologists see it fit to speak out on this issue is indeed worrisome. Being that the TTPS and their PR team are so fluent at throwing numbers out in the public domain—usually designed to support their all-familiar chorus that “serious crimes is down, except murders”—methinks it’s only fair, and high time, that someone questions their understanding of “serious crimes.”
It becomes quite apparent that murder—that is, the intentional taking of a life, in case the TTPS may have missed it—does not meet their definition of being a “serious enough crime.” And while I have questioned their modus operandi (MO) in the past, I will continue to do so as long as they continue to insult the collective intelligence of members of this society.
For the TTPS to waddle into 2017 expecting that the murder rate will suddenly change simply on the grounds that the calendar did, is as naive and reckless as those who relied on “prayer” as the best crime plan; even setting aside a day exclusively for this purpose.
Their other chorus, that they are “doing the best they can” has all but convinced me that the management of this dysfunctional organisation is, at best, ill-suited for the task at hand, despite their collective years of experience.
They continue to operate on an outdated model, where the ‘village’ has become global, while they were literally asleep at the wheel. If they lack the simple insight and courage to demand the removal of the Star of David as their emblem to be replaced with something more practical and local like the Coat of Arms, then they certainly lack the expertise required to identify serious crimes and their consequences on the psyche of the population.
And while our nation is mired in 1.4 million challenges at this time, neither time nor space allows for an analysis of more than a couple at a time. Crime, and by extension the TTPS whose mandate it is to address this, is the one I choose to explore as they are one of the organisations known to have been a primary beneficiary of significant sums in the past couple years. The current AG has identified such sums.
So while the CAPA (Crime and Problem Analysis Branch) is busy churning out numbers designed to fit neatly into sound-bytes at press conferences, the population sleeps uneasy, with one eye open, since every shadow is now a gunman.
And though the TTPs boast of how many guns they retrieved in the past year, the failure of arrests to accompany the discoveries—under fig patches and in abandoned houses—is also cause for concern. They failed to consider that for every firearm discovered in a fig patch, the owners simply went out and had such loses replaced, reflecting the ease with which firearms can be accessed.
Therefore, to come and tell us that there was a 54 % decrease in “serious indecency” while the detection rate for murder hovers around 9%, and has been the same for the past 20 years, transcends insulting.
To brag about some reduction in stolen vehicles, but failing to tell us that of the 3,209 vehicles reported stolen between 2013 and 2016, only 211 were “detected” is equally insulting.
It has evidently eluded the collective heads of the TTPS, like the Minister of Finance, that when people lack confidence in an institution they withdraw their support.
For the TTPS, this becomes evident in the lack of reporting crimes. In the economy, it results in the lack of investments or purchases.
For those at the helm, 2017 cannot be business as usual. The TTPS is in dire need of a serious shakeup. I daresay that most of the senior heads needs to be sent packing, immediately, as they have overstayed their welcome and outlived their usefulness as “police officers.”
They are bad for the morale of the institution, often serving as poor role models. Their experiences are useless in today’s world of combatting crime and the new criminal, where they continue to believe that ‘rank’ supersedes all else.