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Monday 24 September 2018
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In defence of the police

THE EFFICIENT handling of the robbery of the son of Minister of Finance Colm Imbert by the Police Service has led to claims of favouritism by some. These claims, which are unwarranted and reckless, should be rejected in the strongest possible terms

This paper holds no brief for the Police Service. That the organisation has challenges has been well documented. Over the years, watchdog bodies such as the Police Complaints Authority have detailed serious failings.

Additionally, the runaway rate of crime has dramatically underlined how much more work needs to be done. The appalling and brazen murders of three people at the Chaguaramas boardwalk are just the latest example of what the police are dealing with in these most trying times.

But, as the old saying goes, one day for police, one day for thief.

It is one thing to criticise the police when there are legitimate grounds to do so, and another thing to undermine their authority and incite animus against the thousands of women and men who daily risk their lives in service of their nation.

What about condemning the criminals in this case?

Devant Maharaj, a former government minister who would have at one stage enjoyed the protection of the police in that capacity, and Carenage resident Christopher Calder this week claimed there was favouritism in this matter. These claims are unfair, to say the least.

In the first instance, neither gentleman has presented evidence of cases when people were unable to get the police to help recover stolen items despite a high degree of solvability – an important factor.

Police investigations may outwardly appear simple, but in truth, they are extraordinarily complex. The smallest of factors can often make the difference between success and failure. The solvability of a case depends on a delicate balance of complex variables.

Secondly, even if there was merit in the claim that special resources were deployed – and this report has been strongly denied by the police and others – such a move would have been justifiable.

Imbert regularly acts as Prime Minister. He is, therefore, often called to lead meetings of the National Security Council, an important and sensitive body. Viewed from this perspective, it is obvious the mobile phone of his son is an extremely sensitive item. And the assessment of former national security minister Brigadier General Carl Alfonso is correct.

There is no doubt the police need to do a better job when it comes to making the population feel safe. But instead of vilifying the police, in this instance instead they should be praised for a job well done.


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