Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 27th 2014 Contents A8
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Serious crime down but...
fear, says top cop
Violent crimes, in particular
murders, have been fuelling fear
in the society.
So said acting Police Commis-
sioner Stephen Williams during a
telephone interview. yesterday.
In a previous statement over the
weekend, Williams said last year
had been the most successful year
in policing in T&T for many
"We recorded a 26 per cent
reduction in serious crimes over
the 2012 annual total. It is the low-
est annual total of serious crimes
for last 29 years. We recorded a
30 per cent reduction in violent
crimes with the exception of mur-
"There was a 14 per cent reduc-
tion in road traffic accidents and
21 per cent reduction in deaths on
our roadways. The road deaths
represented the lowest road fatality
figure for the last ten years.
successes of 2013 under my lead-
ership," Williams had said.
He admitted that there was still
more work needed to be done
when it came to murders.
Saying fear had "numerous fea-
tures," Williams said the one which
had the greatest impact on society
was violent crime.
He added: "You could have no
serious crimes at all but once you
have violent crimes that is when
fear would step in.
"We continue to have murders,
especially in instances where peo-
ple are being gunned down, and
that by itself continues to fuel that
fear of crime generally, even though
there has been a drastic decrease
in serious crimes.
"It is not the police alone who
has to work but the society also
has to work on impacting the level
of violent crime. I am not satisfied
with this issue of violent crime
but it is an issue we continue to
work hard at."
On the issue of reported death
threats made to CCN investigative
journalist Mark Bassant, Williams
said he had already spoken on the
He was criticised for reportedly
making statements insinuating that
Bassant might have invited trouble
through his recent reporting.
He was quoted as saying: "There
were a lot of statements and utter-
ances made by Mr Bassant which
have been very irresponsible on
his part on things which are incor-
rect, which I know as a fact are
incorrect, which I can't just put
in the public domain, based on the
office I hold and the access to
information I have.
"Some of that, I believe, may
have triggered the issue of a threat
being made against Mr Mark Bas-
On its Web site the
International Press Institute
(IPI) yesterday condemned the
threats made against Bassant.
"We condemn the threats
made against Mr Bassant
which have highlighted the
dangers that journalists face
when attempting to reveal
information that is in the public
interest, even in a country like
T&T, where this form of
harassment is unusual," IPI
Press Freedom manager
said in a statement.
"We urge the authorities to
fully investigate these threats
and bring the perpetrators to
justice, thereby ensuring that
press freedom in T&T is upheld
and that courageous
journalists, like Mr Bassant, can
carry out their work."
IPI's regional partner, the
Association of Caribbean Media
Workers (ACM), also shared its
alarm concerning the matter.
PRESS INSTITUTES CONDEMN IT
In a press release issued
yesterday the T&T
Transparency Institute said it
was gravely concerned by
"TTTI is further dismayed at
the statement ascribed to the
acting Commissioner of Police.
A death threat cannot be
excused or justified under any
circumstances and in fact
requires official condemnation
from the Government and the
"Transparency calls for
immediate, concerted action to
send a clear message of
unqualified protection of the
freedom of the press as well as
of protection for all individual
citizens of T&T," the
After weeks of discussions, the
students Guild at the University of
the West Indies (UWI) has accepted
the new Grade Point Average (GPA)
The system is expected to be
introduced at the start of the next
semester. The GPA system raises the
passing grade from 1.0 to 2.0, which
is supposed to be more in line with
international standards. However, a
media release from the guild on Sat-
urday revealed the changes were only
"The scheme is one that will work
in favour of the students," the release
The grading system, the guild said,
only changes the way the grade is
reported and does not interfere with
the quality of the students work.
"Consequently, an A-worthy essay
should remain as such and the new
system," the release noted.
The guild also noted that a pass
degree which would be altered to
2.00 as opposed to 1.00 previously,
"will facilitate the upward readjust-
ment of cumulative GPA's under
3.00 to conform to the new stan-
"For example 1.00 under the new
scheme would be 2.00, 1.50 will be
2.25 and 1.99 will be 2.49," the
According to the release, fails
would also be treated differently-
F1, F2 and F3 which will require stu-
dents to sit supplemental exams.
Despite the Guild's acceptance
and approval of the new system,
there remains several unanswered
questions regarding the current Gov-
ernment Assisted Tertiary Education
The current Gate system applies
to students who pass in accordance
with the initial GPA system.
Guild approves new
UWI grading system
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