Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 29th 2014 Contents A7
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Next month police officers
interaction with the public will be
monitored by mystery shoppers
to assess their performance.
For those officers who get a fail-
ing grade, disciplinary action is one
of the measures that can be taken,
acting Commissioner of Police
Stephen Williams said.
In response to the public's crit-
icism of police officers' attitudes
during their town meetings,
Williams announced that they
would be sending out regular cit-
izens who were genuinely seeking
services to test officers response.
Speaking at the Ste Madeleine
Regional Complex on Monday
night, Williams said the plan was
being drafted and should be rolled
out by December.
Mystery Shopper, also know as
secret shopper, is used by compa-
nies in their market research to
determine the quality of service at
Williams said the same concept
would apply to the Police Service.
He added: "This concept is one
we want to use within the domain
of the Police Service to test how
the public receive services at police
"We want to use that concept
to get people into police stations
to request services and provide us
with the feedback in relation to the
delivery of that service.
He said police officers were being
trained in public relations to
enhance the communication
between the public and the police.
"We can take disciplinary action
but in reality our focus is about
finding a mechanism to improve
service so training is a critical inter-
vention that we will seek to have
in those circumstance," he added.
He assured officers that the mys-
tery shopper would be someone
seeking a genuine service, noting
that it would be unethical to make
false request and it would be waste-
ful employment of the police.
A panel, including acting DCP
Glen Hackett, ACP Donald Denoon,
Snr Supt Cecil Santana and Supt
Zamsheed Mohammed, were told
by villagers that although there
were many good police officers
there were a few "rotten ones"
which give the service a bad image.
Local Government Minister
Marlene Coudray, a villager of Ste
Madeleine, said that while there
were police patrols in the commu-
nity, officers should walk through
the streets and meet with residents
to foster better relations.
Ramesh Karapan said the public
also was aggrieved at the lack of
compassion and discretion by police
officers when it come to issuing
Karapan said police charged cit-
izens for blown tail lights, even
when it could have been blown
during the trip.
In response, Williams promised
that more foot patrols would be
done throughout the country in
the coming months.
However, Santana said that once
a law has been broken, police have
no choice but to enforce the penal-
One of the 30 police candidates rejected from the
Police Training College last month is suing acting
Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams.
An application for a judicial review, which seeks to
have the court overturn Williams' decision to bar the
claimant from entering the training academy, was filed
in the High Court with its first hearing carded for next
At a police town meeting at the Ste Madeleine Regional
Complex on Monday night, Williams did not give the
name of the person but said the claimant was turned
away after failing a polygraph test.
He explained: "The person is basically seeking to be
given the right to be trained as a police officer so they
want the court to quash the commissioner's decision to
not permit them to train and allow them to be trained
as a police officer.
"They have filed an action for a judicial review so I
got copies of the action, with a requirement for rep-
resentation on a date in November. I don't have the
name in my head but it is one of the people who had
applied to join and was refused entry."
He said he did not want to speak too much on the
issue now that it has become a court matter but said
the T&T Police Service had grounds to refuse the
He said the polygraph, also known as the lie detector
test, is one of the measures used to ensure reputable
people entered the Police Service.
Another measure, he said, was publishing the names
and faces of applicants in the newspapers so that the
public could give information on anyone who should
not be accepted. He said a strict screening process was
important to improve the public's perception of the
He added: "They (the claimant) said they had gotten
the assurance of the academy that they were going to
enter the training and they were briefed in relation to
entering. They were stopped just as they started training.
"We do not treat applicants unfairly so we do have
grounds for making determinations on whether a person
should or should not enter training."
Asked how he felt about the lawsuit, he said: "Nothing
is strange to me now in T&T. Whatever comes my way,
I try to deal with it in a professional manner."
It was reported that the 30 rejects had confessed to
crimes, such as having sex with minors, theft and drug
possession during polygraphy tests but were still accepted
to begin training on September 8.
Days before training was supposed to start, Williams
sent out orders to dismiss these recruits and launched
an investigation into why the batch was accepted.
His action was praised by Police Social Welfare Asso-
ciation president Insp Anand Ramesar who said there
should not be any tinkering with the selection and
recruitment process. (KF)
The two-year ban on
hunting will not be lifted
as preliminary findings
of the latest study show
a dwindling number of
So said Minister of the
Environment and Water
Resources Ganga Singh at
the opening of the second
Minister: Hunting ban stays
Acting CoP seeks to improve image of Police Service
Secret survey to
test cops' attitude
Minister of Local Government Marlene Coudray speaks during the
police town meeting at the St Madeleine Community Centre on
Monday. PHOTO: KRISTIAN DE SILVA
annual National Sea Turtle
Symposium at Hilton
Trinidad , St Ann's, Port-
"Given our predatory
nature and without this
moratorium we would
have wiped out our wildlife
population. The prelimi-
nary findings are alarming.
It is worse than we
thought," Singh said.
He said he was con-
cerned that illegal hunters
had no regard for sanctu-
aries and wildlife reserve
Since it had just 13 game
wardens, his ministry had
teamed up with estate
police officers from state-
owned Petrotrin, the
ment Authority and the
Water and Sewerage
Authority to patrol
reserves, he added.
Singh said there would
be greater enforcement for
the upcoming Christmas
period when "wild meat"
was in greater demand.
"However," he said,
"fewer people are eating
wild meat', especially
because the wildlife are the
carriers of the Ebola virus,
the monkey in particular,
which is considered a del-
icacy in Trinidad.
"So we hope that with
all the various kinds of
exotic diseases taking place
in the world, that people
will continue to desist from
eating wild meat'.
Singh said it was also
found wildlife had retreated
into the furthermost parts
of the Northern Range.
"We are now realigning
the National Reforestation
Programme, the planting
of fruit trees specific to the
various animal species, to
provide food for them in
the ranges and various
habitats," he said.
The moratorium was
put in place to give a sci-
entific basis for a decision.
The final report is expected
in mid-November. The
survey in Tobago is to
begin soon in collaboration
with the Tobago House of
The two-day sympo-
sium was aimed to reflect
a more holistic approach
to conservation and pro-
tection of turtles, with
greater input from com-
munity groups that fall
under the umbrella NGO,
Turtle Village Trust.
Acting MD of the Environmental
Management Authority Gayatri Badri-
Maharaj said the organisation received
reports of 8,256 confirmed nestings by 5,140
turtle last year and during the peak of the
nesting season, approximately 500
leatherbacks nested at Grande Riviere nightly.
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