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Thursday 19 October 2017
Local

‘Strong message must be sent to criminals’

TEARS FOR DADDY: Sinead Sandy weeps as she is consoled by a relative during the funeral yesterday for her father Prison Officer Richard Sandy at the St Barabas Anglican Church. PHOTO BY VASHTI SINGH

A strong message must be sent to those intent on harming or killing law enforcement officers.

This declaration came from Commissioner of Prisons William Alexander and was supported by National Security Minister Edmund Dillon following the recent murder of Prison Officer Richard Sandy.

Sandy, a father of five was shot once in his right thigh last Saturday night by an ex-prisoner while at a pre-birthday lime at a bar along Caratal Road in Gasparillo. Sandy would have turned 47 on Tuesday. Speaking after Sandy’s funeral in Pleasantville, Prisons Commissioner Alexander warned criminals.

“You saw what happened to Dana Seetahal (and) many other high profile persons in this country. Crime has gone to another level and we have to respond accordingly. As the criminals say, if you have no answer back, they will come at you. We will create an answer back.”

While he declined to provide details, Alexander assured: “There is a concerted effort to protect my officers. The lawless people must understand that we will not sit idly by and allow our officers to be shot and killed.”

For his part, Minister Dillon wants to the wheels of justice to turn much faster, in order to deter those who dare to attack law enforcement officers.

“When something like this happens, I feel there needs to be quick and deliberate action, not only on the part of the Police Service and law enforcement agencies but in the courts also. Justice must be swift to send a certain kind of message to individuals who commit crimes against people who are dedicated to serving their country,” Dillon said.

When told that to some, justice has not been seen to be swift, Dillon agreed. “Justice has not been swift. People who are committing these offences, when they are held with evidence and they appear before the court, it takes too long for their trials to take place. Justice must be swift to send the kind of deterrent message that is required when they commit these kinds of heinous acts,” Dillon stated.

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