|Acting CoP: Focus on how we prevent crimes |
COREY CONNELLY Sunday, July 9 2017
ACTING Police Commissioner Stephen Williams yesterday said the performance of the Police Service has for too long been gauged by the low crime detection rate.
He says more attention should be paid to its success in preventing crimes from occurring in the first place.
“It is better to seek to prevent something from happening than to seek to fix things after it has happened,” Williams said at the launch of the National Gas Company’s (NGC’s) sponsorship of police youth clubs at the Police Academy, St James.
He said the focus should not strictly be on the Police Service’s ability to make arrests.
“From a criminological perspective, a famous criminologist once said we cannot arrest ourselves out of our crime problem. The more you arrest, the more criminals come forward to be arrested.
So the solution is not an arrest,” Williams said.
“So, when you listen to the discussions in the public domain, everybody speaks about the Police Service detection rate. So, the more offences that we detect means that we are performing better.
“For me, that doesn’t make much sense. The more crime we prevent is better for the Trinidad And Tobago Police Service to go forward because when a crime is committed, families are affected and then in seeking to arrest, you now have to incarcerate and then you affect families by way of extension.” Addressing the members of the police youth clubs, Williams said society must focus on ensuring key initiatives are implemented to channel the talent and energy of the young people to make them productive citizens.
“If this is done, we will be impacting the constant flow of new criminals,” he added.
Towards this end, Williams said the Police Service has embarked on an initiative to change the culture of traditional policing, particularly as it relates to young people, by installing full-time police liaison officers in all youth clubs.
He said the officers will be sourced from among the 6,800 officers in the Police Service.
Admitting the country continues to be plagued by crime, he said young people were too often being blamed for the menace.
However, he contends: “The failing is not around young people, but around parents and adults.” He said society must be shaped by the family.
Williams urged private and public sector companies to join the NGC in sponsoring youth clubs. The point was echoed by Ernest Esdelle, NGC’s senior manager, engineering and construction services.