THE EDITOR: Violent deaths from spousal abuse are rampant in Trinidad. Beatings, choppings, stabbings, shootings are often given as the cause of death when the media report on domestic situations turned fatal.
On many occasions we are also informed that the victim had reported the abuser to the police and often there is also a restraining order to “protect” the victim from the abuser.
But the real cause of death isn’t merely the beatings, choppings, stabbings, shootings; it’s human stupidity. I am not blaming the victim at all, or even the abuser completely. You see, the stupidity that (for the most part) leads to the fatality comes from the police.
For some reason the police are inherently far more stupid than the regular members of society, yet think themselves more intelligent than the person next to them. We all can probably relate a story or two to verify this statement.
I’ll relate one. A friend in Trinidad called me recently (I am in England). This friend has a protection order against her brother who is increasingly becoming more volatile and unpredictable. She went to the police to report yet another bout of threats and referred to the protection order.
The officer in charge of the station (I forgot what rank) clearly told her words to the effect: “Ma’am, we can’t do anything. He has to commit a breach of the protection order three times before we can take action.” My friend called to find out if that statement was true.
The sheer stupidity of that statement astounded me and left me speechless for a few minutes.
I guess the police also watch people at traffic lights and only when a person breaks the red light three times then the arrest is made. Or when a person is caught driving drunk three times then an arrest is made. Or when caught speeding. Now we know why crime rates are so high?
It is a known fact that the police treat violent domestic situations extremely poorly. They simply do not know the law. Or they just don’t care. Perhaps it is why the upper management of the police has no fixed leader despite 13 appointments. Or why the current recommended CoP designate is under siege.
As public servants, police officers are paid whether they work or not. So whether the officer is going out on patrol, investigating incidents or just sleeping in the station, a salary is in his/her bank account at the end of the month. So people pay twice – in taxes, and blood.
MOHAN RAMCHARAN, Birmingham, England