Police Work: A Joint Effort

Posted: September 19, 2012 in Uncategorized

Monday, February 27, 2012 at 7:43pm

Trinidad has a long history of lack of enforcement in the executive arm of the state. A law is only as good as it is enforceable and being enforced, so any triumph from our legislature seems to fall short. The judges and magistrates are willing and eager to dispense justice but can only do so if those in power are performing. 
This mentality comes from the Dr. Eric Williams days of ‘Dont punish them them because they stole, feel sorry for them because they are hungry,’ and the attitude of the police where they would look out for their own race , which led to a slap on the wrist for criminals if even they were held. What came out of this was the criminals realizing that they could get away with murder, quite literally in some cases. Crime now is not for need but for want. You get robbed by a man now who is wearing nicer clothes, jewelry and more expense shoes than you could ever dream to own.
We need to look back to move forward. Look at the colonial treatment of criminals. The British had a lot of bajan police officers here to try to eliminate bias in dealing with crime, and a zero tolerance policy for even minor offences. Im not saying we need to go all the way back to the old days but we must learn from it. Learn what worked, analyse it for feasibility now, and try what seems like it may work. If it doesnt, go back to square one and try again. 
On the other side of that, we as citizens must assist where and when we can. When there is a water shortage, we need to conserve water, we cant just bawl “WASA hada fix dat!” and leave it so. It is their job but there are realistic limitations. Police cannot be expected to do their job if citizens are not giving information, reports, testifying, and worse yet harboring criminals. The Service Commission as well needs to be kept on their toes and be more willing to probe into matters of corruption which is crippling the police service and law enforcement on a whole.
There is no quick fix for crime but a more serious approach is needed by all. This is totally out of hand and one hero cop isnt going to fix it, the days of Randolph Burroughs and the Flying Squad are over. Crime fighting is a joint effort, the public needs to be the eyes and ears of the police, and the police needs to be the fist of the people.

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