Sunday 30th July, 2006

Peter Quentrall-Thomas
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Time to link patrol police to command centre

Before we look at any graphs this week, here are a few other matters to think about.

Police in denial

Last week I devoted my whole article to the fact that the Police in T&T are in denial that dealing with crime is their responsibility. I had lots of feedback from readers and my thanks to all of you.

Crime figures

Where on the T&T Police Web site are the facts and figures for our country by crime and by area? Go to and you can see not only whether crime is rising or falling in the UK as a whole, but the current situation in your area.

Involving community

In Atlanta Police work with the community to fight crime by putting electronic billboards at critical locations in the city and outskirts. Victims or witnesses of a crime call the normal number 911 and within seconds information is flashed on these boards that provides information on the description of the assailants or the car so that motorists or even pedestrians can be alerted.

Vehicle info retrieval

I hear a whisper that the Motor Vehicle Licensing Office database is still not linked to the Police Command centre. I can’t believe this is so.

Don’t our police cars have built in monitors yet so officers on patrol can instantly see if a vehicle is stolen, etc? We have been seeing this technology on television for years and years. Don’t tell me we still haven’t implemented it here yet.

More madness

Have you noticed the trend over the last ten years or so to make tax payers pay twice for information from the Government?

The latest one I have come across is the Bureau of Standards. Through our taxes we pay the bureau to develop standards and then, instead of putting them up on its Web site, where we can easily access them, they keep them locked away and want to sell them to us!

Isn’t that incredible. Here we are talking about 2020, which involves lifting the standards of everything we do in this country, and the organisation charged with standards is deliberately failing to use the most modern and cheapest way of distributing them.

How many housewives, how many school teachers, how many ordinary folks have the money or the time to go to the bureau to buy a standard they are interested in.

I have written the CEO Prem Nandlal on the topic several times and received no reply. It’s the old Trini bureaucratic device of “If you ignore them long enough they will go away.” Not very 2020 Prem.

And maps

It’s not just the bureau that has data they won’t share with the people who paid for it. Go to for incredibly detailed street maps of US towns and cities. Why can’t the T&T Government do this?

Go to, click on “Maps,” choose your town and then select “Traffic” and hey presto there are accidents and traffic works clearly marked. We don’t even have a street map of Port-of-Spain, our capital city, online.

Traffic signal madness

I defy anyone to tell me that the traffic lights on Wrightson Road are synchronised. There are only a handful. So why can’t you drive through them all at 30 mph once you get a green?

Imagine Miami, which has nearly 3,000 sets of traffic signals, has had over 2,000 of them synchronised since 1978! And we want to be the headquarters for the Free Trade Area of the Americas? We joke of course.

2020 Awards

Cara Suites

My first 2020 award this week goes to Cara Suites, which has WiFi Internet Access not only for people staying there but also for restaurant and bar patrons and conference and banquet clients. So if you are just enjoying a meal or taking a drink you can access the Internet. Well done Cara Suites!


My second 2020 award goes to T&TEC for its excellent advertisement in the Guardian of June 15 showing the diversion to traffic in the Montrose Junction area. Very clear diagram using colours to indicate traffic movements.

They deserve congratulations as well for stating they were not only improving the reliability of the supply in the area but, to use their words, they will “Enhance general environmental aesthetics.” This last item is most welcome as by and large T&TEC and TSTT have ruined the beauty of our towns and residential areas with their ugly utilities.

Good parenting

My last 2020 Award goes to the father of the young Pleasantville man who had the “stones‚” to ask Magistrate Adrian Darmanie to send his son to Youth Training Centre as he was out of control.

The 16-year-old boy was caught stealing a cell phone from a store on High Street, San Fernando. That father, instead of looking the other way, and letting his son get into a life of crime, did the courageous thing and asked the police to help him.

Most parents would fail their children by not asking for help. The end result would be another youth lost to the drug wars and killed in a alley one night.

Just a thought.


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