Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 28th 2014 Contents A23
December 28, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
In enlightened societies the wheels of jus-
tice grind with equal fervour and relentless-
ness to exonerate the innocent, as well as
convict the guilty. For that twin purpose to be
achieved, the entire crime-fighting apparatus
works in tandem. Therefore, vigilante action
cannot, in the long run, be good for law and
Vigilantes are those who have become be-
numbed to the true value of human life and
virtue of presumption of innocence, because,
to them, every suspect is guilty up front, ie,
without the benefit of a fair trial: one that dis-
passionately delves into and sifts all the rele-
vant issues and gives every accused a chance
to gain some leniency and that, even more crit-
ically, ensures the wrongfully arrested quickly
regain their freedom.
For those reasons, the State ought never to
be bloodthirsty or vengeful in response to
crime, regardless how gruesome the offence
was. The instant it is, it loses its soul and
morphs into a runaway, Freddy Kruger-like
horse where good policing work is jettisoned
and replaced by arbitrary shakedowns and de-
tentions, framing, torture and extra-judicial
To his credit, the endlessly acting police
commissioner, Stephen Williams has always
come across as a leader who holds his officers
to the truest ideals in executing their sleuthing
duties. Such resoluteness has led to a dra-
matic reduction in serious crime, as statistics
confirm. But, murder, the most heinous crime,
remains at a noxious level. Worldwide, the
murder toll is the yardstick by which the worth
and effectiveness of every police organisation
is tabulated. Williams must now devote al-
most single-minded attention to bringing
down the wholly unacceptable murder toll and
raising the abysmally low murder detection
rate. His good work in other areas will never be
fully appreciated unless he does.
Ensuring detectives aren't overburdened is
a surefire way to go about that. From media
reports it seems not enough officers are cur-
rently assigned to grappling with murders.
Thus, at any given moment, individual cops
may have several murder investigations in
their caseload. How can they cope when inves-
tigating a murder demands practically round-
It's time the Homicide Division be beefed up
and amalgamated to the point where there
are at least 600 officers exclusively assigned
to it. Nothing else but solving murders and at-
tempted murders must be in their plate. Com-
mon sense suggests these officers will have to
be deployed as two-person tag teams to cope
with and quickly reduce a nagging yearly mur-
der count of 300-plus. That way, even if all the
perpetrators aren't caught, at least a more in-
depth profile of what causes murder will be
compiled, scientific analysis of which will sub-
sequently pinpoint the wider social strategies
necessary to stanch the bloodletting before it
Finally, in a town where media houses tend
to view Cabinet ministers as fair game ranging
in open safari, it would also make sense for
ministers of National Security to stay camou-
flaged, supply the police with all they need and
let the police do their job, which is what used
to happen when the late Brigadier Joe
Theodore held the portfolio. The statistics
show that, under "Quiet Man" Joe, the murder
toll took an impressive nosedive and stayed
down for the count.
I hate to be the bearer of bad tidings in this festive
season when we all should be celebrating, but then
that is life.
We must not be like camels that hide their heads in
the sand oblivious of what is transpiring around us, or
Nero who fiddled while Rome was burning.
The current crude oil price is US$55.84 a barrel
West Texas Intermediate (WTI). This is our bench-
Brent Crude can also be used as a benchmark. One
barrel contains 42 gallons of oil. The most important
factor that contributes to the worldwide oil price is
the demand from expanding economies like India and
The supply has been artificially curtailed through
the Opec oil cartel. Yes, you heard me, I said cartel.
This is what ''fuels'' and drives the price of oil.
In Trinidad we have been spilling oil like milk but
not crying over it. We are damaging the environment,
peoples lives, and causing grievous health concerns.
The union and the company are always at war, fail-
ing to appreciate they are on the same team. Each
one is integral for the others' survival. Like a parasite
and a host.
Come on people, this is one spill too many. The
time for mistakes is long gone. What is your excuse
Get your act together now. Someone must be held
Oil in the tank not in the environment, is money in
I will not be a prophet of gloom and doom so my
forecast for 2015 is all good; it is going to be all gravy.
I predict oil prices can rise to US$100 a barrel and
even surpass that figure.
THE MOST EXPENSIVE BARREL OF OIL IS THE
Spilling oil like
milk in T&T
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Dreadful murder toll demands action
Minister of National Security Gary Griffith, right, is welcomed to the Woodbrook Police Station by Sgt Charles Sooklalsingh during a
Christmas Day visit. PHOTO: MARCUS GONZALES
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