Police officers need to stop befriending gangsters in the Beetham who are called “president” and “prime minister” by some children, claimed head of the Beetham Police Youth Club and retired police inspector Sheila Prince.
“People in authority supposed to know better and have the power to deal with the law. And they have been playing games with gang leaders. Putting so much status on to them. Calling them all kind of names projecting innocence and they…know the (gangsters) have influence on the young people in Beetham.” She made the comments in an interview with Sunday Newsday about the protests and traffic disruption in Beetham on Thursday following the arrest of two men by police.
She claimed officers took part in Christmas parties in Beetham organised by criminals.
“Where is the integrity? Why are police compromising integrity to be part of a whole masquerade? Where did they get the money from? Why you have them around young children?” She said the police would be talking and laughing with these individuals. She also claimed when some people made reports to the police they would ask if they spoke to the “bossman” of the area, taking their vested authority and giving it to criminals. Prince said it was sad Beetham was going down that road of destruction because there was no proper mentor or anybody to denounce wrongdoing.
Prince said that had been going on for years and the criminals seemed untouchable by people who had power to deal with lawlessness.
“I think the integrity is compromised. People are friends and refuse to take action. They put a plaster on the sore every time.”
She said it was sad young children in Beetham called criminals “president,” “boss” and “prime minister.” She also said there were officials who approached these criminals, had discussions with them gave them big contracts like CEPEP and URP.
“Officials blow hot and cold. Why we have to allow it to reach to this? Why can’t you deal with issues in terms of letting people know the law in charge. Why don’t we have a proactive approach? Why only when things get out of hand we hear something.”
She recalled a few months ago at a service at the Anthony Pantin Centre for Peace in Beetham Msgr Christian Pereira asked the children what they would like to be and one responder said a “thiefer.”
“How many are there to be like the five-year-old who wants to be a bandit?”
Prince said her Police Youth Club had produced some good young people but there were some who fell by the wayside.
She said those young people had no vision but were being recruited, controlled and intimidated to do negative things.
She pointed out Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley in a media conference on Friday told the criminals and those who supported their lawless behaviour that their day would come but Prince stressed there must be action.
“The lips thing not working out.”
She said some police officers were fooling the Government and they knew exactly what was going on with the criminals “but it is their friend.”
Prince said there must be consequences for lawlessness and they must face the brunt of the law, which might be able to save them by bringing them to a level of consciousness.