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PM: Zero tolerance to crooked cops
Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley is warning police officers and civilians seeking to join the Police Service that there will be zero tolerance to those who choose to engage in criminal activity.
“Those people given the opportunity to wear the uniform…if they fall short and engage in criminal conduct they have no right to be in the police service. Let them go mix cement somewhere else or do something else, but you can’t wear the uniform and be a criminal,” Rowley said yesterday after receiving 600-page report T&T Police Service Manpower Audit Committee chairman, Professor Ramesh Deosaran, in a ceremony at the Parliament building in Port-of-Spain.
Rowley said he hopes there is a recommendation for how to tackle this type of behaviour in the report.
The report took nine months to complete and compiled of interviews with over 100 stakeholders, including the Director of Public Prosecutions, Chief Magistrate and the Customs and Excise Division. It is also supported by data in the form of tables and graphs, Deosaran said.
Rowley promised to immediately take the report to the Parliament so it can be used as the “blueprint for the road ahead.” He said he will be presenting it before the Cabinet tomorrow and in a few days will make it public, “so all of us could see what the police service has to do or what has to be done…it is our problems and our solutions…I trust that what is in here (referring to the report) will impact upon all.”
He also said the report will be sent to the Joint Select Committee of the Parliament on National Security.
Rowley said he preferred Government’s decision making to be data driven rather than influenced by opinions, adding this is what the report is expected to deliver.
In a brief statement, Deosaran said the report contains “powerful recommendations” which could change the system.
“We believe that it cannot be business as usual with the TTPS…if we continue the way crime is deteriorating it will affect the economy of the country, not just the social and psychological lives of the people,” Deosaran said.
“The time is now for the required action…let this report be the strategic vehicle in improving the country.”
He said their work included: examining the existing manpower strength at all ranks and related units of the police service; an examination of the developmental policies and current standards and practices in the recruitment, deployment, training and career progression of officers and making a qualitative and quantitative assessment of the extent to which the expected levels of efficiency, effectiveness and accountability have been achieved.