Trinidad to crack down on rogue lawmen

(Trinidad Guardian) National Security Minister John Sandy says new measures are to be implemented to ensure there is swift justice for police indiscipline in T&T. He said so during his response to a private motion by Opposition Senator Fitzgerald Hinds in the Senate yesterday on the strengths and deficiencies in the Police Service. He added: “The culture in the Police Service is one where disciplinary matters are not dealt with swiftly. We need to change that and efforts will be made to change that.”

Sandy said when he assumed office last year there was no succession or developmental plan within the Police Service. He said what obtained prior to his becoming minister was a kind of disorganised promotion system, where officers wrote exams without participating in any courses. “What we had was a corporal wearing superintendent’s rank. That is what existed in the Police Service,” he told legislators.

He admitted there were challenges facing the service but the People’s Partnership Government remained committed to dealing with those problems within the shortest possible time. He said the Government was “encouraged by the measure of success we were able to achieve during our first year in office.” His listed some of those achievements as:

• The appointment of a Commissioner of Police and Deputy Commissioner of Police;

•  provision of the grant of tax free allowance for police officers;

•  augmenting the fleet of the T&T Police Service with the acquisition of 181 new vehicles;

•  increased mobile and foot patrol by police officers in collaboration with the Defence Force;

•  increased vigilance on police raids in crime hotspots;  and

•  a renewed emphasis on policing for the people.

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