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JENSEN LA VENDE
Acting Commissioner of Police Stephen
Williams yesterday told his colleagues that while
he was proud of their achievements in reducing
crime statistics, he wants them to work four times
harder at reducing the murder rate.
The police plan to move more detectives to the
Homicide Division to help cut down on the killings,
The murder toll is currently 264, while the num-
ber was 231 last year for the same period.
Speaking at an award ceremony at the Police
Administration Building yesterday, Williams said
they had an uphill task.
He added that the media saw their performance
through the lens of murders, and while there had
been a decrease in other areas of criminal activity,
murders must be addressed.
"We have to see crime in the broad context as
it impacts the lives of criminals," Williams said.
"But knowing that murders are used as the
benchmark, over the next five months it is critical
for us to put what I would call quadruple effort
to make that difference.
"The numbers are high and we are not proud
of the level of murders in the country. We are doing
everything possible to drive the numbers down."
Williams said the police had been challenged by
the State and society to treat with issues of crime
and criminality and had set themselves a "stretch"
target of reducing murders by 20 per cent to push
the organisation, but so far there had been an
But, he said, they would find the right approach
to reducing murders.
Among the successes Williams referred to was
surpassing the targeted ten per cent detection rate,
especially in the Eastern and South Western divi-
sions. He also highlighted the Tobago and Central
divisions, which had a 38 and 45 per cent decrease
in serious crimes respectively.
Northern Division, led by Sr Supt David Abraham,
was given special recognition by Williams, who
said for the last three years it had been excelling
in firearm recoveries, and while nationally there
was an increase in murders, there had been a reduc-
tion in that division for the year.
In his closing remarks, Deputy Commissioner
of Police in charge of crime Glenn Hackett told
the award winners: "I want us to reduce the murder
rate more than the ten per cent we have given our-
selves as a target. And this is not impossible.
"To achieve that, we at the executive level have
taken a decision to transfer 50 per cent of the
detectives in the divisions, as part of our anti-
crime and anti-homicide drive, to transfer those
detectives to the Homicide Division. They will
assist in current investigations and cold-case inves-
"More importantly, we want you to continue the
impetus in the divisions with the hot-spot policing
and other initiatives that we have together embarked
on to realise this downward spiral in murders that
"And we can do it. I assure you we can do it."
(See pages A8 and A9)
Thursday, August 7, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
away from PSC
GET IT RIGHT
In yesterday's story on the tour of the USS
America by local officials (p12), we erroneously
reported that National Security Minister Gary
Griffith led the tour. In fact it was junior
National Security Minister Embau Moheni who
led the T&T delegation. Our apologies for the
efforts to bring
Police Service Commission (PSC) chair-
man Prof Ramesh Deosaran has resigned
in apparent frustration over Government s
failure to revamp the procedure for appoint-
ing a police commissioner and three
The announcement, almost six months
after Deosaran was given a second three-
year-term at the helm of the commission,
was made by President Anthony Carmona,
who said he accepted the resignation in a
press release yesterday.
Deosaran s resignation takes effect on Sep-
Although Carmona s statement quoted
excerpts of Deosaran s letter, the full text was
not released and the President did not indicate
the exact reason Deosaran had given for his
Since assuming office in April 2011, the
outspoken criminologist has repeatedly crit-
icised the process for making appointments
to the four top four positions in the Police
Service, which he described as "complicated,
convoluted, outdated, cumbersome and
Deosaran had suggested that the commis-
sion should handle the entire process, as
opposed to the current system, which uses
foreign firms to recruit candidates for the
positions, with the commission only inter-
vening at a late stage.
In his letter, which was sent to Carmona
last Friday, but was only acknowledged when
the President returned from vacation on
Tuesday, Deosaran also noted that he was
part of a review team which proposed reforms
to the administrative and legislative framework
of the commission.
Deosaran was quoted as saying in his letter,
"You will recall, Mr President, when, as the
review team s chairman, I presented this
report to you, I explained the extent to which
the current framework prevents the PSC
from executing its constitutional mandate
with the required efficiency and effectiveness.
I understand the Executive is giving this mat-
ter its attention."
Highlighting his achievements during his
tenure, which was due to end in May 2017,
Deosaran said the commission was able to
strengthen the framework for periodic
appraisals for the senior cops.
He also said, "As chairman, I have ensured
that the constitutionally required appoint-
ments of Commissioner (Acting) and Deputy
Commissioner (Acting) of Police have been
properly done last month so as to help ensure
stability at the executive level of the Police
He summed up: "In other words, Mr Pres-
ident, I have so far tried my best to execute
my duty as well as to help bring the required
reforms to the commission."
The T&T Guardian tried several times to
reach Deosaran s office and cellphone for
further comment, but he did not respond.
Contacted yesterday on a timeline for Car-
mona s appointment of a replacement, infor-
mation officer for the Office of the President,
Theron Boodan, said the procedure would
take some time due to the qualification
requirements and intense verification process
required for the post.
Asked for an update on the replacement
for recently resigned Integrity Commission
member Joel Edwards, Boodan said that issue
too was equally tedious, as many of the appli-
cants for the post were unsuitable and many
others who were contacted refused the offer
due to the nature of the job and the potential
for criticism over high-profile decisions.
TAKING A CHANCE
through flood waters
following heavy rains
in the capital
yesterday. (See page
A7) PHOTO: ABRAHAM
Speaking before an emergency PNM gen-
eral council meeting at Balisier House, Port-
of-Spain, yesterday, Opposition Leader Dr
Keith Rowley said he was not surprised by
the news of the resignation, as he did not
support Deosaran s second term.
I haven t read his resignation as yet but
I get the sense that there is frustration,"
He said the situation was another com-
ponent of the instability in the country,
adding there was a general lack of confi-
dence in T&T.
"And when Mr Deosaran could have gone
a few months ago, and resigns now, it
doesn t help our effort," Rowley said.
In a brief telephone interview yesterday,
former PSC chairman Kenneth Lalla sug-
gested Deosaran s resignation might be
related to the failure of legislators to address
the dire need for reform.
"Clearly he resigned in frustration. The
current system is totally convoluted and
politically controlled. It defeats the purpose
of the Police Service," Lalla said.
But he said Deosaran s resignation was
not the main issue with the PSC, which
should be urgently addressed.
"Why is it collapsing? Why has the body
has been very ineffective?" Lalla asked,
noting that the issues with the processes
first arose when he left office after the
problematic reforms were introduced by
Rowley not surprised
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