OPPOSITION MP Dr Roodal Moonilal says Commissioner of Police Erla Harewood-Christopher is hiding from criminals, instead of confronting them.
He also chided her advocacy of electronic surveillance bracelets as part of the crime-fighting initiative to track people on bail for firearm possession and violent crimes.
On Saturday, at a UNC meeting in Tarouba, Moonilal asserted, “We already have the law, it passed already. Do you know that in 2021 they put a bracelet on an alleged offender on bail?
“The issue is not the law. The law is already there, Mrs Harewood-Christopher.
"That is a judicial function. It is not a function of the police. It is a function of the court. The laws have already been passed. The People’s Partnership passed the legislation on electronic surveillance. Today the court can take anybody charged for possession of firearm, ammunition and put the bracelet on them.
"But the CoP is not talking to National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds ,and Hinds is sleeping, so you cannot talk to him.”
He called for better communication between the two, as he said the problem of implementation is not with the legislation or the regulations, but has to do with costs.
Moonilal also called on the Joint Select Committee on National Security to summon the CoP at the earliest opportunity to give an account of what the police service is doing to deal with murders and gang-related murders.
“What are you doing about it? Don’t tell us what is the problem,” he said, in reference to her call for innovative solutions contained in a pre-recorded message to the media.
Moonilal chastised the strategy of opting for a pre-recorded message rather than face-to-face interaction with the media to answer questions, especially as the murder toll has surpassed 300 and continues to rise.
In her pre-recorded statement, the CoP acknowledged the rise.
“The murder toll reached 300 and our national consciousness was jolted as we reached this dreaded milestone. In a sense, we all share the collective disappointment that this is how violent our society has become.”
Moonilal referred to “Captain Gary Griffith as the last real CoP we had.”
Griffith, now leader of the NTA, whose party has formed an accommodation with the UNC, was at the Tarouba meeting
Moonilal also criticised the CoP further for not facing the media and opting instead for providing them with a pre-recorded statement from an undisclosed location.
“Law enforcement meets the press, meets the people, take questions. Mrs Erla, I want to tell you it is not a good thing for you to hide in a room and do these broadcasts from these locations.
“That is not for law enforcement. The image of law enforcement is to confront the criminals, not to hide from them.
“All over the world, CoPs are walking the street. They do press conferences on the steps of law-enforcement buildings, they don’t do it pre-recorded and send it out. This is not a good development – and I say that with great sincerity. It is not a good development for a CoP to hide. It is the criminal that must be hiding, not the commissioner.
He told the CoP she should not be hiding from the public especially when the country has been overtaken by bandits.
"Today this country is under siege.
“Erla, don’t be in the garden hiding, hiding from the criminals. You have to come out. You have to show yourself. You have to confront these elements and don’t be scared of the media. The media is there to do their job. Let them do their job. I ask the commissioner to take matters seriously.”