From Capil Bissoon, Sept 9.
Crime was and is a PNM problem! The reality is pellucidly clear that this Administration and unfortunately the Commissioner of Police have refused to accept any responsibility for confronting the worsening and escalating out of control crime epidemic in the country.
It has been less than a week since Commissioner of Police Erla Harewood-Christopher’s idle boast that the country’s current murder rate is the same as last year.
In making this bold pronouncement, Harewood-Christopher ignored the fact that all law abiding citizens are now very overwhelmed by the criminal activities throughout the country. Indeed, the Commissioner’s most damaging and dangerous pronouncements literally gave the impression that there was no spiralling out of control crime and murder epidemic and that all is well in the country.
Does Commissioner Harewood-Christopher understand what is required of her as the Leader of the TTPS; does the Commissioner understand what performance measurement is all about; does the Commissioner understand that by making such outrageous statements only further undermines public trust in her leadership and exacerbates the problem?
While the Commissioner must ensure that the TTPS and her own relations with the Executive must be respectful, strong and supportive, one gets the impression that the Commissioner is bending over backwards to tow the line of the Government. This is just another example of just how far the long arm of the Rowley-led PNM Administration has been able to convolute the democracy and independence of the Police Service.
Instead of Harewood-Christopher admitting to the explosion of crime in the country and going back to the drawing board to renew and reconstitute how to make the country safer, she has opted to continue her “support” of the Executive; her constant and most glaring political posturing continue to slowly reduce and destroy the public trust in the impartiality and political independence of the Police she leads.
In the eight months since Harewood-Christopher was appointed Commissioner, what has she done to instill confidence in the population that she has the capability and capacity to take the crime situation head-on? While the escalation in crime shows no sign of abating (actually, it is getting worse daily) Harewood-Christoper’s only promise that she will “bring” an end to the spiralling murder rate by June failed to materialise. While violent crime keeps rising and the murder rate is at the highest it has ever been, she arrogantly described her performance during the first 100 days of her appointment as “excellent!”
But how did we get to where we are; this was not overnight. Crime was and is a PNM problem! The PNM cannot solve the country’s crime problems; they have been all too willing to compromise and betray the population for their political survival by pandering to their base and by trying to gain as much political mileage as possible while simultaneously feeding directly and indirectly the upsurge in crime
Before coming into office in 2015, Keith Rowley was most vocal in his promise that he and the PNM will “turn around” and tackle crime head-on. This promise lacked credibility because of the PNM’s continued facilitation of criminal activity, its abysmal record in dealing with crime, past PNM collusion with criminals and the fact that Rowley never articulated any plan whatsoever to reduce crime.
The reality is pellucidly clear that this Administration and unfortunately the Police Commissioner have refused to accept any responsibility for confronting the worsening and escalating out of control crime epidemic in the country.
Their lack of action and public posturing show that they are totally out of depth of the problems and issues at hand. Because of this, crime will continue to get worse and as such, as statistics and data for the last week will show, criminals are taking advantage of the denials and pronouncements of the Commissioner of Police and Prime Minister during the Independence celebrations.
Keith Rowley needs to understand that no amount of public posturing can erase the fact that he has presided over the total paralysis and collapse of law and order in Trinidad and Tobago.