Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 5th 2016 Contents hands were tied.
"There is not much the Police Service
could do. Even if the Commissioner gets a
phone call to do some of the things that
needs to be done he is limited to policing
but in terms of welfare issues a lot falls out-
side his sphere," Ramesar said.
Regarding housing especially for officers
who live in crime-ridden communities, he
said the association has written to Housing
Minister Marlene McDonald.
"Many officers suffer from inadequate
housing and, like the other concerns, we
have been talking about this over the years.
"We are hoping that this Government will
recognise the need to treat police officers
with some level of added consideration," he
Asked whether the Police Service was los-
ing the war on crime given the apparent
increase in murders and violent crimes,
Ramesar said there was an urgent need to
appoint a police commissioner.
Ramesar has also thrown his hat into the
ring for that position.
Calls made to National Security Minister
Edmund Dillon's cellphone yesterday went
In the aftermath of the shooting death of prisons
officer Fitzalbert Victor Jr, police officers are now
agitating that their lives are also at risk and such
concerns have repeatedly fallen on deaf ears.
So said president of the Police Service Social and
Welfare Association, Insp Anand Ramesar, who in
an interview made renewed calls for the relevant
authorities to treat with urgent issues.
"There is a real concern among police officers that
if we do not arrest that particular situation it will
emerge into a bigger, troubling situation," Ramesar
He added that like prisons officers, it was only a
matter of time before police officers were killed.
Officers have also expressed concern that there
may already be a 'hit list' for particular officers.
Ramesar said a letter detailing concerns would be
sent from the association to Prime Minister Dr Keith
Victor, 32, was shot in the head and body by a
man who jumped the wall to his home at Prizgar
Lands, Laventille, on Monday. It is believed his killing
was a hit called from behind the prison walls.
On Monday, the home of a Special Reserve Police
(SRP) officer was shot at
by an unknown assailant.
The officer, assigned to
the Crime Protection Unit,
was at his home in the
when the shooting
Police said they too
believe this was an
attempted hit on the offi-
"We have a lot of instances
where police officers are under
actual threat and we have been bringing them to the
attention of the relevant stakeholders...officers have
communicated directly to their senior officers and
in a lot of instances the association has made direct
communication to different people including the
national security minister," Ramesar said.
He said despite these discussions, time and time
again no "concrete responses" have been given.
"There has been nothing regarding a structure to
treat with those police officers.
"We have police officers that even while on duty
threats are made to them. We have the 'hot spot
policing' and a large number of our officers go into
these areas continuously so it is a concern that is
very real to say the least," Ramesar added.
He said despite a general feeling of being demoralised
and frustrated that concerns were not being addressed,
officers had no intention of staying away from duty.
"At this point in time we are not talking anything
about strike. We know we have a country to run and
that is going to be our direction.
"But our real issue is why is there no immediate
effort to address the problem by putting a reasonable
structure in place that once those officers are identified
that some mechanism is triggered to protect them
and their families," Ramesar said.
He said over the last three to four years these issues
have been raised with various stakeholders including
acting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams and
other management of the Police Service.
However, unless there was a policy stipulated by
the Government there was very little the organisation
could do, Ramesar said, adding that even Williams'
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Killing of prisons officer
Cops: Our lives also at risk,
concerns falling on deaf ears
Insp Anand Ramesar
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