Last update: 13-Dec-2013 3:20 am
Friday, December 13, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Bad cops to be prosecuted, expelled
Acting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams has promised that corrupt police officers will be prosecuted and expelled from the Police Service. “As an organisation we have to work hard at fixing the image of the Police Service, to move it from a negative image to a positive image. We have to do cleaning up, that is why we have to investigate any compliant against police officers and if necessary, prosecute these officers,” Williams said yesterday during the Showdown talk show programme on i95.5 FM. His comment was in response to a newspaper report which stated that two junior police officers were being investigated for leaking classified information to gang leaders in east Port-of-Spain.
The report stated that officers of the Criminal Gang and Intelligence Unit were investigating the two officers, who were assigned to the Port-of-Spain Division, who allegedly leaked information on recent anti-crime exercises in the division. Police sources said that the officers had been transfered to police stations in the Western and Northern Divisions for the duration of the probe. While admitting he did not read the report, Williams said, “I feel hurt. It is something I have known about from the very onset of joining the Police Service.” The service intends to investigate and prosecute corrupt officers and to ensure that “bad eggs” are not recruited. “As an organisation, once you have bad eggs, it pains you because you really want an organisation which meets the public perception of a police officer, that is, a police officer who is honest, has the highest level of integrity and is a true professional,” Williams said. Williams noted that the service was the only one in the country which required polygraph tests in its recruitment procedure and said the tests was a means of “tightening up the quality of persons entering the organisation.”
Public perception of Police misguided-Williams
He called on the public to co-operate and assist the Police Service, which he said was the only way the fight against crime would succeed. “The police service takes an unfair rap for everything wrong in T&T.” He said although crime statistics showed a decrease in serious crime, incidents of violent crimes such as murders and shootings were affecting the psyche of citizens. “Unless we can break that cycle, people will not be looking at all the other areas of crime,” Williams said. He said that the police service was focused on crime prevention rather than crime detection. “We are focusing on crime prevention as our number one priority. It is critical for us to drive crime down,” Williams said. When asked if the decreased serious crime rate was as a result of his and his executive’s efforts, Williams responded: “You would have a seen a clear lifting of the bar by way of police effort in driving crime down. “We see clear correlation between what the Police Service has been doing over the past 12 months and the results we are gaining,” Williams said. When asked to rate his performance as Police Commissioner, Williams gave himself a 8.5 rating while saying if he was being subjective the rating would have been 9.5.
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