Policing in Trinidad and Tobago 2018
In 2018 the murder toll now stands at the second highest ever in the history of Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) second only to the toll of 2008. This is the result of a murder spiral that commenced in the fourth quarter of 2013 and has increased in tempo continuously to the new peak of 2018. Clearly in T&T we have a policing problem which is not being addressed by consecutive governments and the leadership of the TTPS. The present new leadership of the TTPS has to be assessed in light of the grave, fundamental operational deficiencies of the TTPS and what are they doing about it rather than through policing by PR measures for the glorification and validation of the maximum leader.
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse of the TTPS are: 1. The failure and collapse of the system of performance assessment which ensures a strategic, fair, just and speedy system of promotions vitally necessary to employee motivation and proper strategic succession planning. 2. The failure and collapse of the disciplinary system necessary under the industrial relations system of T&T for police officers are in fact workers with the legitimate expectation of natural justice. 3. The failure and collapse of the daily operational system of controls which is charged with the task of ensuring the discipline, the proper management of the resources and the proper functioning of the order of battle of the TTPS. 4. The existence and functional integrity of an order of corrupt practices and organised crime in the TTPS which operates with impunity and is openly challenging the licit order for power. The four horsemen are all organically linked, feed each other, drive each other and grow in potency from the terrain the others create and operate in. You tackle one and leave the others untouched is simply a waste of time which intensifies the terrain and makes it even more difficult to intervene thereafter. There must be four interventions simultaneously launched and prosecuted in order to create the operational space in the TTPS to reformulate and re-vision a new TTPS for the 21st century capable of operating effectively in the 21st century crime terrain of T&T.
The plaster on the sores method simply makes the four horsemen stronger and more intractable. All the Bolsanaro gun talk changes nothing and is not the change required for the tip toeing around the problem over the years resulted in the deep growth of the cancer. Likewise, there is no solution forthcoming from Giuliani just read his track record in Mexico and the reality of New York City is not T&T reality not by a long shot. We don’t need broken windows we need to overhaul the TTPS into a 21st century policing vehicle. We don’t need grasping at straws we need evidence based solutions to the four horsemen of the apocalypse informing decisive action driven by envisioned decisive leaders. Further plasters on the sores will simply evolve the situation to the tippling point where we will need a new normal based on limited states of emergency over most of the country. And we certainly don’t need the Bolsanaro effect in T&T a recipe for race war.