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Repeat problem with police interactions

Thursday, January 12 2017

THE EDITOR: Yesterday, I had an experience which is a repeat of one that is so common among members of the public in their interactions with police officers that few people remark on it any longer.

Driving north along the street that passes in front of the Chaguanas Court, I encountered a young couple crossing the street ahead of me. So engrossed were they in their conversation that they appeared unaware of my oncoming car. I sounded my horn to alert them, only to be faced with a glare and a barrage of angry words from the “gentleman” who was dressed in the paramilitary, commando-style outfit favoured in recent times apparently by the majority of police officers while on duty.

I was quite taken aback by his reaction as he was at the time in the middle of the road but had made no move to hasten his steps, preferring instead to berate me for having the temerity to bring to his attention that there were other users of the road.

It is this aggression with which many police officers address members of the public that widens the divide between the two interdependent groups and undermines any attempt by the police executive to garner public support. The officer was not even easily identifiable as a police officer, dressed as he was in all black with the word “POLICE” emblazoned on the back of his upper body which was at no time turned in my direction. The recent action by the Commissioner to take action against non-performance must go much further and engage the entire service.

Karan Mahabirsingh Carapichaima

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