By peter balroop
IN ONE fell swoop National Security Minister Martin Joseph swept all blame for there being 79,989 unsolved serious crimes, including murder, kidnapping, rape and robbery with aggravation, in the six-year period 2002-2007 on to the broad shoulders of Police Commissioner Trevor Paul.
Joseph stressed Paul was the man to call to account, when responding to UNC-A Chief Whip Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj crime motion in the Lower House on Friday.
Reached yesterday for his reaction to Joseph saying as the head of the Police Service he was the State’s front man for the curbing of runaway crime, Paul said he did not hear Joseph’s response, so was not prepared to comment on the say-so of the Sunday Guardian.
Paul recently got a six-month extension of his employment contract and Joseph told the House on Friday that soon MPs would be debating the appointment of a new commissioner.
In a motion on the adjournment of the House, Maharaj said in the period the National Security Ministry had spent over $15 billion, yet had failed to keep crime under control.
Citizens did not feel safe to venture out of their houses; the issue had gone beyond the pale of political rivalry and the fact of the matter was a solution had to be found.
As an MP, said Maharaj, he had seen first-hand the suffering, the fear and the trauma that families endured at the hands of criminals.
Maharaj said Prime Minister Patrick Manning had assured Senator Joseph was his best Cabinet Minister.
If that was so, he added, then something must be wrong with Manning’s judgment.
He had got the crime statistics from 2002-2007 from the Police Service’s Crime and Problem Analysis (CAPA) department and they were frightening.
He proceeded to read them out in all their detail, emphasising the pitiful rate at which serious crimes were being solved.
They showed that over the period murders had risen by 40 per cent; the detection rates was less than ten per cent and the conviction rate of those charged was less than one per cent.
Maharaj said he did not want Joseph to tell the nation about future plans, or about the activities of police units like SAUTT or the IATF.
The nation wanted to feel safe. They wanted assurances from the Minister that they could be secure in their homes and on the streets, in the day, and particularly at nights, Maharaj stressed.
To his mind, the solution in the first instance was to have officers posted throughout the streets of T&T on a 24-hour basis, even if it meant re-routing traffic police and court officers to crime duties.
Police also needed motivation to rise to the occasion, Maharaj added.
“Forget the politics, tell the people what you are going to do to prevent crime,” Maharaj urged Joseph. “We cannot go on like this... time is running out.”
Joseph responded saying that since Police Service reform legislation had come into force the Police Commissioner was no longer a toothless bulldog.
He had the power now to promote and fire up to Assistant Commissioner.
His job as Minister, said Joseph, was to provide the financial and human resources to the Commissioner and leave the job of solving crime to him.
Any interference in the performance of the Commissioner’s duties by the Executive would be seen as politicising of the Police Service, Joseph said.
Yes, there was a shortage of officers, but recruitment of 500 new officers a year was the plan, with the recruits all having at least five “O” level passes and being subjected to a polygraph test.
The CAPA department provided “real time” crime statistics, which was essential to curbing crime, he added.
Joseph assured once the Police Commissioner made optimum use of his resources the incidence of serious crime would be reduced.
Thanking all officers for their contribution to the fight, Joseph assured: “We’ll stem the flow
Ha ha ha ha ha, in one fell swoop Joseph lick up conniehole Trevor "Rock the fockin Boat" Paul.
Niggas are so stupid it never ceases to amaze me how this creed born duncee so. Imagine Paul is now to blame, but the fockin PNM extend his time as CoP for another 6 months.
What ah bunch of cacaholes.
Ah need ah dunce to shit on!