Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 29th 2014 Contents A11
June 29, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
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Mr Williams, there is a school of
thought which links crime to poverty.
I do not support that view, do you?
I do not support the view that there
is this close link between crime and
poverty, what we may find is that a lot
of people in these depressed areas are
committing crime, but that does not
necessarily mean that if you are in one
of these communities you need to com-
People, if properly guided, can find
Another reason why it is difficult
to get a handle on criminal activities
is the presence of crooked cops in the
Police Service. Are the corrupt officers
hampering the good work being done
by good police officers?
Well, corrupt officers will definitely
have an adverse effect on the organ-
isation and its membership, that is a
fact. As an organisation it is our clear
approach to focus on treating and deal-
ing with these officers, and if we are
running a police service we have to
comply with the law.
(Throwing his head back on his swivel
chair) If I had the freedom in the morn-
ing, every police officer who I suspect
to be corrupt I would fire them. Right
now, it is critical for the Police Service
to continue to pursue corrupt officers
and to prosecute them for a criminal
offence, but we have to depend on the
criminal justice system to get rid of
Do you have any idea how many
police officers are facing criminal
charges in the courts?
I don t have a fixed number, but it
runs into a few hundreds.
Mr Commissioner, what percentage
of the Police Service do you think are
What percentage I perceive to be
rogue cops? I would not put rogue
police officers in the category of more
than one per cent. But that s large.
Mr Williams, are you happy with
your acting position as Police Com-
missioner for such a long time?
Well, nobody loves to act, but I do
not really focus on that as an issue.
I was told by...well...I cannot reveal
the person s name, that you are not
satisfied with your present tenure and
that your morale could be on the down
low because of this acting situation?
(Chuckling which turns into laughter)
No. No. I work longer than most people
in this country. I am in office on Sat-
urday and Sunday at times. I am
commonly in my office six days a
week, I arrive in office at 7 am and
stay sometimes up to 9 pm.
So if you have, quote and
unquote, a grouse over your acting,
you won t be giving those kind of
hours on the job.
If I were you, I wouldn t be
happy with this acing thing, and
this is the feedback I have been
getting where you are concerned.
Mr Raphael, if you throw your
mind back to 2008, I went through
the process designed to appoint a
Commissioner of Police. I was
selected, nominated by the Police
Service Commission, it went to
the President who sent it to the
Parliament, and the then govern-
ment failed to approve it. I con-
tinued to work in the service.
Didn t you feel personally let
down at that time?
(A somber expression) Yes. You
will. You will. If you are in an
organisation and you have passed
all the rules required and the Gov-
ernment shifts the goal post, so
after you basically see that okay
you scored a goal, then they say
"No, this is the wrong spot for the
goal," and they shift the goal
post...You will feel affected, but
that hasn t stopped me from work-
ing extremely hard...but I have
something to tell you.
What s that?
In 2008, having been disap-
pointed, I did not go and take sick
leave. In fact, I joined the Police
Service as a constable in 1979 and
up to this date, I haven t taken a
single day sick leave. How many
public officers can share that with
you? God has been good to me,
and today you see me here a little
bit overweight (pointing to his
tummy), but I am pretty okay.
Acting has not affected my per-
formance. I continue to work with
my staff who keep delivering, and
I am satisfied they are doing a fan-
How can you say that with the
homicide rate what it is...has
Government been supplying the
service with adequate artillery to
fight the criminals?
The next thing I can share with
you, Mr Raphael, is that when you
talk about the murders, that is not
a problem limited to the Police
Service solving, you know?
Violent crime is a social issue.
When you were a young boy, if
you got licks in school and you go
home and tell your parents, they
would double up the licks on you.
Today, if you get licks, most like-
ly many parents are going into the
school and assault the teacher.
Violence has become almost like
Mr Commissioner, another
grievous feature of the crime
scourge are the illegal guns. How
do you propose getting them out
of the hands of trigger happy
Mr Raphael, 75 per cent of all
the murders...you have touched a
very real point. Firearms are not
manufactured in T&T, all are
imported. Unless we stem the
inflow of illegal firearms, we will
have a problem with violence. The
Police Service does not have a
marine branch as existed years ago,
we are not responsible for the ports
of the country.
Therefore, all these other agen-
cies have to play their part, the
Police Service is responsible for
seeking out illegal firearms, arrest
the holders of these weapons and
I have been reading about these
raids, how many guns have you
discovered so far this year?
In 2014 we have seized in excess
of 310...and that number compared
to any previous years is almost
double for any fixed time.
From Page A10
Continues on Page A12
perceive to be
rogue cops? I
would not put
officers in the
more than one
per cent. But
Corrupt cops must be prosecuted
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