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Violent crimes have been reduced by 34 per
cent in 2013 as compared to the same period
last year, acting Police Commissioner Stephen
Williams boasted yesterday.
He was speaking at a conference titled "A
Country to Defend" at the Hyatt Regency hotel,
The feature speaker was former New York
Police Commissioner William "Bill" Bratton.
Road fatalities, Williams added, were also
reduced, by some 22 per cent.
Over the weekend, however, six people were
killed in four separate accidents.
Despite the reduction in violent crime, the
top cop said there still remained a high level of
fear of crime among members of the public.
Saying policing was always very challenging,
Williams added that the public expected a turn-
around in the shortest period of time.
"It may not be appropriate for me to say that
violent crimes have been reduced by 34 per cent
when you continue to hear, and you hear on a
regular basis, that persons have been shot and
killed," he said. "Will it be acceptable of me to
say that serious crimes have been reduced by
30 per cent in 2013, when so many of you know
someone who has been the victim of robbery?"
He added that statistics would not help alle-
viate the feeling of fear that pervades the soci-
ety.The mandate of the Police Service, Williams
said, was to slash violent crimes by 50 per cent
for the 2013-2015 period, as directed by the Peo-
ple s Partnership government.
He said policing demanded "clear vision" and
focus by the leadership team so that the country
could enjoy a comfortable environment.
Asked how this could be achieved, Williams
said it would take deliberate and dedicated effort
by all stakeholders.
"I believe we are on course to move our per-
formance from good to great, as nothing short
of greatness in policing will suffice for T&T,"
Wednesday, November 13, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
'We can't stop all crime'
but fear still
high, says CoP
From page A1
He also told officers that their duty
was not only "hook em and book up,"
meaning arrest and detain, but their job
was multifaceted and also entailed work-
ing with all communities, rich and poor,
and showing favour to none.
"Policing is no longer response-ori-
ented...It does have the ability to deliver
on that promise of democracy of freedom
of fear," Bratton said.
"Can we get rid of all crime? No, but
we can certainly do more to reduce it."
On crime-fighting tools for the 21st
century, Bratton said in the US there
were "real-time crime centres," the first
of which was established in New York.
"This is taking the idea that informa-
tion made into intelligence is power," he
"In a police officer responding to a
call, the real-time crime centre is already
analysing the computer files...what is
happening at that address? Is there a
gun registered there? Is there a personal
warrant there? How frequently are police-
men there? So by the time an officer
gets there he has intelligence to help him
protect his life and understand what he
is going into," he said.
Bratton said increasing technology has
also allowed foreign police officers to
make out reports, even while in the
homes of victims and in police cars,
which were immediately relayed to head-
quarters so this could be transformed
into "real-time maps."
National Security Minister Gary Grif-
fith, who was also present, agreed there
must be proper compensation for officers.
For instance, he said giving an officer
$500 for risking his life was not accept-
Acting Police Commissioner Stephen
Williams, who said a holistic effort was
needed to move the Police Service for-
"We need to put the entire pool of key
matters all together and not select some,
because with only some we will not be
able to achieve the kind of successes the
country is looking forward to."
He urged that the Police Service be
"singled out" for special attention by the
Government, as renumeration was a crit-
ical component. In making reference to
former UK members of the Special Anti-
Crime Unit (Sautt), Williams said these
officers were paid "extremely well."
During the conference, Bratton said some
members of his team were out on the field
with police officers to get a "first-hand
experience" of what was happening in T&T.
After the three-hour conference, Bratton
then met with various stakeholders, including
members of the Police Complaints Authority to
discuss concerns and solutions.
A media conference scheduled after the
meeting, however, was cancelled. One official
said this was because "time ran out" and
instead a press release would be issued on the
key issues from the meeting.
Later this week, Bratton said, he is expected
to fly to the United Arab Emirates to host a
"I accept these engagements to talk about
not only what I know, but to also learn, so I
fully expect the two days spent in your country
will be the opportunity to take back with me
my ideas and experiences," he added.
He warned, however, that there was neither
a quick fix approach nor magic bullet to fight
crime. In any organisation, including the Police
Service, Bratton said, there would always be
some level of corruption.
No magic bullet
to fight criminals
Former New York police commissioner William Bratton shakes hands with National Security Minister Gary Griffith at yesterday's "A
Nation to Defend" conference at the Hyatt Regency, Port-of-Spain. Looking on are Chief of Defence Staff Brigadier General Kenrick
Maharaj, left, and acting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams. PHOTO: SHIRLEY BAHADUR
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