N Touch
Monday 22 April 2019
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Commentary

No to crime, drugs, corruption

JADE-MARIE KENNEDY

MANY PEOPLE have been issuing threats to Gary Griffith since he assumed the position of Police Commissioner. But why? Is it because he doing a great job of going after the criminals, whose actions are giving the country a bad name? Allowed to continue we will soon no longer be known as “Sweet T&T.”

In addition, people continue to talk about all the corruption taking place in the country, about the escalation of drug trafficking. And the commissioner is not only going after the blue-collar criminal but also the white-collar wrongdoers. Since his appointment, many drug dealers have been caught, crimes are being solved, the corrupt are being revealed.

The question arises again: why is hate directed against someone trying to protect our country? There were claims of attempts to deal with crime in the past but for years criminals appeared free to carry out their wicked and cruel acts. Organised crime became the norm. Gang leaders gained more power as their influence spread. Drug dealers spread their wings throughout the region and some even internationally.

Now, however, drug busts are becoming more common. This is exactly what the country needs to move forward. Organised crime needs to cease.

What about corruption? Is it becoming a norm also? It is alleged that politicians accept bribes from gang leaders to fund elections. If true, this does not go one way. As the parties receive favours, they are expected to reciprocate.

It is also time that more police officers who are expected to protect and serve but are committing crimes are finally exposed. It is happening to a certain degree and under Griffith it will no doubt increase as he moves to clean up the service. As a matter of fact, many cops and soldiers have been arrested and charged with being involved with gangs. And lawyers have been questioned about money laundering in relation to gang activities.

Maybe this is one of the major ways to end corruption within the Police Service. If a commissioner taking harsh measures to deal with corruption is what it takes, then so be it. The law-abiding citizens should not have to live in fear.

Griffith is also going after illegal weapons, which seem to be easily accessible in Trinidad. The real questions are why and how? People with guns are often seen posing on social media. And they not police officers. Is it that no one fears the consequences? If this is so, the State needs to start enforcing the laws so that criminals begin to fear the consequences of their actions. This is what the Police Commissioner is attempting to do. And things are changing – for the better.

On the corruption that has been occurring for decades, Dole Chadee (who was hanged) stated in his confession, which was released in 2017, that the future of Trinidad would be bleak because of corruption in the legal system, which could lead to its failure. Almost 20 years after this confession, there is still much corruption. For a major convicted drug dealer to make such a statement, it shows the reality of the situation.

What TT needs are people and systems that work towards fairness and justice. Thus, seeing criminals and corrupt people being caught gives a sense of hope to citizens. This needs to be the new norm. Corruption needs to come to an end. The country needs loyal people who are committed to making their country a better, safe and secure place.

However, the person attempting to make TT such a place again is being targeted – for death. News articles have been revealing that whenever Griffith solves major criminal activities, threats to assassinate him follow right behind. People need to start giving him their full support, as well as his officers.

One of the most recent measures which the Police Commissioner has instituted to lessen corruption in the service is the introduction of random drug and lie detector tests for certain officers. This is a commendable step.

Criminal activities will not just disappear but seeing successful action being taken is promising. Let TT be known for its lovely culture and all the other great things we have to offer. Not the crime, drugs and corruption.

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