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Religious heads tell cops: Be angels of Hope

Religious heads tell cops:
Thursday, February 9, 2017
Sergeant Kevin Greene greets Arima Girls RC students during the TTPS Northern Division interfaith service at the Santa Rosa Roman Catholic Church, Arima, yesterday. Photo by:AYANNA KINSALE

A group of religious leaders yesterday urged police officers to have faith in their ability to tackle the country's crime problem.

At an interfaith service held by the Northern Division of the T&T Police Service at the Santa Rosa RC Church, Arima, Roman Catholic priest Father Dwight Black and Seven Day Adventist pastor Clive Dottin expressed optimism about the police's ability to reduce crime.

"You have to be angels of hope. If you feel you are going to lose the battle, you done lose already," Dottin said.

Black, who led the service, called on the police to be virtuous in executing their duties. He said positive attitudes from police officers might inspire change in law-breaking citizens and earn the confidence of law-abiding citizens.

"Virtue can transform anything. It can turn fear into courage and aggression into love," he said.

Black also urged the media to refrain from sensationalising crime, as he said negative news might be contributing to crime.

"We will not get out of this dark hole if we are only looking at what is bad. Focusing on good will transform us," Black said.

Similar encouraging remarks were delivered by religious leaders representing the Hindu, Muslim and Pentecostal faiths.

Speaking after the service, head of the division, Senior Supt McDonald, thanked the religious leaders for their continued support, which he said was vital in their anti-crime plans.

"As you all will know, a lot of the crime we are having are not based on organised crime but instead on negativity and dysfunctionality coming in the home and institutions.

"We need to work together with these major foundations and institutions to arrest the problem of crime and delinquency in Trinidad and Tobago," he said.

Commenting on the division's 2016 detection rate, McDonald said 23 per cent of serious crimes were solved and there was a 58 per cent detection rate for minor crimes.

"Yes we need to improve our detection rate but we only tend to focus on serious crimes, especially murders. We need to look at it from a holistic manner to see how the police are dealing with the crime situation in T&T," he said.