Sunday 9th September, 2007

Peter Quentrall-Thomas
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Respect begets respect

Police manners

It’s 3.30 pm on August 28 on the Valencia stretch, when all of a sudden unmarked vehicle PBZ1430, heading towards Arima, starts blowing its horn, flashing its lights and pushing everybody off the road! How no one was killed in a head-on accident is a miracle.

Only ten minutes later did a hand come out of a window and put a blue light on the roof.

Now, I have no problem pulling aside to let the police do their work but for heaven’s sake, tell me you are police! And you wonder why the people of this country have no respect for the police? Respect is a two-way street, gentleman.

Police complaints

Did you see the report that over the last five years there have been 13,400 complaints against the police? That’s 2,680 complaints a year against 6,000 officers or almost one complaint per two officers!

That is staggering especially when you consider most people simply don’t bother to lodge a complaint.

And get this, of those complaints less than a third, or 3,916, have been resolved and only six per cent or 252 officers were warned and disciplined and only ONE, yes that’s right, just ONE has been dismissed.

Now, let me see which political party is going to include in its manifesto the proper funding to sort this mess out.

Which party is going to come clean and declare war on the 50 per cent of the police force that is generating these complaints? And remember this is the police force of 6,000 that makes 5,000 arrests per year or less than one arrest per officer per year! And they can’t even do that without people lodging a complaint.


My 2020 award goes to Andrew Rodney of Sangre Grande. Mr Rodney (cell 477-4639; 306-6693) runs the most efficient tint and sign shop I’ve ever seen.

As far as I could see he was the sole employee but he had at least two jobs on the go at one time. When I tell you productivity! He was polite, courteous, considerate and efficient.

He was operating out of a store called Total Inexcess Ltd run by Bryan Chow—488-2042—who seemed to have every conceivable accessory for your car at less costly prices as other places.

Where the money went

I thought readers might be interested to see which ministry received the biggest increases from the budget over the last five-year PNM term of office.

Interestingly, the ministry that everybody has the most complaints about, Ministry of National Security, which includes the Police, was number 17 in the pecking order.

When you see the increase was just over double at 215 per cent, and bearing in mind inflation has eroded most of that, you realise the Prime Minister may have been speaking with “forked tongue” when he said crime is the government’s highest priority.

Incidentally, if you are staggered at the increase in the funding for the Ministry of Social Development, which came in first place, of its allocation of $2 billion, some 93 per cent or $1.94 billion goes in "Transfers and Subsides. Of that, at least $1 billion is just a transfer from the Prime Minister’s office so that’s not a real increase.

But don’t feel sorry for him. He still managed to increase his allocation as Minister of Finance from $2.3 billion to $8 billion; an increase of at least 50 per cent more than crime fighting got. Actions speak louder than words.

Just a thought

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