11 Feb 2017

To fight crime, first fight the mindset of dotish police... starting with top duncey

I take great issue with the stupid statement bleated out by top duncey, Stephen Williams. He said in this article:
As grieving families of people killed in domestic-related cases continue to cry out for justice, acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams says the police can do nothing about killings that stem from such situations.

 “When a brother can stab and kill a brother inside a house for $30, there is nothing the police can do about that. When a daughter could stab a father inside a house, there is nothing the police can do about that. For 2017, we are seeing a series of killings for which no amount of police presence on the streets can have an impact on that,” Williams said.
I see this as a cop-out from the top cop. Probably fitting words there. The point is, in the vast majority of domestic estrangements that turn violent and deadly, there are ample evidence that the victims had made numerous reports to the police... who did nothing. 

But as Lord Kerr said:
"In my view, the time has come to recognise the legal duty of the police force to take action to protect a particular individual whose life or safety is, to the knowledge of the police, threatened by someone whose actions the police are able to restrain."
(Lord Kerr (obiter) in Michael and others v Chief Constable of South Wales Police and another [2015] UKSC 2)
Clearly, the top legal minds from the highest court (Lord Kerr is one of the Privy Council judges) recognise the problem and the necessity for the police to be proactive. But in Trinidad as we all know, police can only be reactive. And in spite of billions handed over to the police annually, the best Williams can come up with to fight crime is:
Williams called on God to pay special attention to the spiralling murder rates plaguing T&T. Admitting that citizens were living in fear of crime, he said a divine intervention was really needed in this country.

“There is a need for more work and in those circumstances we are saying if God is in control, we are asking God to continue to be in control, but to pay a special kind of attention on what is happening in Trinidad and Tobago, as we police officers who are charged with the responsibility can continue to focus on fulfilling our responsibility.”
 Okay, so his crime plan is that God is in control, and should remain in control but pay special attention to TnT, because police officers need to spend time focussing on their responsibilties for which they are responsible.  I don't know what those are, but apparently they're not preventing, detecting and solving crimes.

It is this dotishness coming from the mouth of a man who claims to have a law degree, MBA and what have you, and who incidentally speaks in the form of the worst illiterate in Trinidad, that causes the ordinary citizen to run amok and take justice in his own hands. Because when I hear such dotishness, I feel to take Williams own baton and beat sense into him until I can't raise my hands any more. 

12 Jan 2017

Rubbish defence of Presidential practices

I have not read such rubbish as this article for many years. To distill what this writer said, because the President is a former judge at the local level and at the ICC, and because he was politically appointed Senior Counsel (we know of several of those, don't we?), then he must not be questioned over his actions?

Utter tripe. No one is above the law. No one. “Be ye ever so high, still the Law is above Thee.”

What Dr Robert Williams really is saying is that the President should get a free pass into his activities, including spending, just because... well, just because he is the President. Clearly, not a thought people would be comfortable with, neither does it fit with the Rule of Law. No one is persecuting the President either. Having regard for the law and wanting a reasonable investigation into dubious practice cannot be a persecution if the investigating authorities are dragging thier feet or refusing to conduct said investigations. I fully endorse such an investigation, especially since every time the President opens his mouth, his statements are later proven to be lies.

"Some people are under the misguided impression or are deliberately being fed the erroneous or twisted information that the President can allocate money to himself as in the present circumstances. This is far from the truth. He cannot. For example, monies for his travels must be approved by Cabinet and his housing allowance must be approved by agencies such as the Auditor General’s Office."

While the above may be true (and I doubt it is), the question that arises from what refutations were made by those same bodies is that undue Presidential influence was brought to bear on them to approve the allowances and expenditures. This too is being questioned and should be part of any investigation.

" I believe an explanation on the housing allowance was given and it had to do with the inadequate and deplorable conditions of the Flagstaff facilities the President and his family were being housed in."

More rubbish. The law is quite clear. Once you have Government Housing, you are NOT entitled to Housing Allowance. The question of conditions is moot. It simply does not arise. If as the President said, the facilities were not fit for entertaining as per his status, I am sure any functions were catered at other venues and paid for by public purse. So again, the question of a Housing Allowance to cover this simply does not arise.

"Whether the President was entitled or not to the allocation is a matter that will have to be properly determined with all the facts and not by an attorney sitting in London and forming an opinion on limited information."

Yes, and all that is being asked is an investigation to clear up the facts and determine whether all is above board. So far, by not having an investigation, the facts are obfuscated and actually do disservice to the Presidential reputation and office. Dr Williams should therefore be glad of any clarity brought to the fore by such an investigation.

Dr Williams need reign in his unwarranted defence of the President, under the dubious guise of defending the Office of the President.

Crime statistics

In today’s Express, 12/01/2017, the following was given by Ag CoP Stephen Williams:

The figures showed there was an increase of 250 per cent in kidnappings, 114 per cent in murders, 81 per cent in woundings and shootings, 61 per cent in burglaries and break-ins, 41 per cent in robberies, 36 per cent in larceny dwelling house, 32 per cent increase in serious crimes and three per cent increase in general larceny.

I wonder then, how the weekly statistics show that crime is down? Anyone?

6 Jan 2017

Wishful Thinking

At the stroke of midnight on New Year's Day a father clasped his hands and prayed for a miracle – for his missing daughter to return home.

The father of hairdresser Ria Sookdeo said he believes his daughter was alive and would be reunited with her two young children.

Frankie Rajkumar, a father of three, said his family attended church on Old Year's Night.

“But this time was different. Ria was not there. And as the countdown began to ring in the new year, I put my hands together and said 'God, give me some kind of answers. I know you are a good God. Please, let someone come forward with information on my child.' And I know in my heart that my prayers would be answered,” he said.

Uh huh… and on my next birthday, I’ll shit cubic diamonds.

1 Jan 2017

Side by side getting screwed

Okay, I’m usually not pessimistic, but when I see efforts like these I’m confused. Part of me lauds the attempt but the other part of me – the majority – knows that it’s like farting into a tornado and trying to stop it. Or pissing up Niagara Falls to achieve the same result.

No matter how much wishing and praying goes on, the crime wave is as inexorable as the change in age. Why am I saying this? Just click on the ‘crime’ label and go as far back as you wish on this blog – I have documented endless times why crime will not even pause, much less slow down or stop.

Some bear repeating:

When we pick police officers (dunceys) from from the intellectual dregs of society, we cannot and should not expect them to learn. Raise the entry requirements to at least 3 or 4 ‘A’ levels grades A to C. Let the police service be an alternate vocational career path, earning a degree while they train.

When we train dunceys, we need to train them much longer than 6 months. A proper 3 years minimum course covering law, criminal procedures, technology, etc. will make for a better quality of police.

When we have a highly inefficient ‘old guard’ in the leadership positions, the habits and systems pass to the new recruits. Fire them all and start afresh. Put them back in short pants and on the streets. Remove air-condition units from stations and vehicles. Create a pay scale based on performance.

We need to revamp the judicial system, throw money at it to bring in expertise and assets – buildings, vehicles, etc., instead of strangling it financially annually. Do away with endless postponement of cases and hold night courts as often as possible. Bring in judges from other common law systems if necessary, and enhance the intellect… too many local decisions get ‘tapped up’ at the Privy Council. Have compulsory professional development on an annual basis, like doctors. If they fail, remove them.

Hire managers who are properly trained in managing, not just rising through the ranks and know fawk-all about using the assets available. Don’t become top-heavy with management either.

Pelt money at the prison system, to enhance prison conditions. It is no secret that the conditions are atrocious and help breed more violent and knowledgeable (criminal knowledge, eh) re-offenders. Expand prisons, remove private contractors from both the judicial and prison systems.

Revamp the health sector. More discipline for doctors, no more protecting each other. You cut through a baby’s head, lose your license.

Update laws. The country is working with antiquated laws dating back almost a century, in some cases even more. These were inherited from the old English colonial system and imported wholesale into the Constitution at Independence. England and former territories have long since moved on. To stem crime, start with the Offences Against the Person Act (Act 10 of 1925!!!) and move on to the Marriage Acts, etc. Lack of political will should not be an excuse, neither should pandering to political sycophants. Parliament can make or unmake any laws.

Tribal politics should be removed – by the people. If your MP is not toeing the line in bringing your concerns, fire him. If he votes party instead of people, fire him. If he’s a fake doctor, fire him.

Well, there you have it. A short version of some of the many suggestions I have repeatedly made over the lifetime of this blog. While you pray for the lives of yourself and loved one, cogitate on that. I’d wish you all a Happy New Year 2017, but that would be like blowing on flood waters in Port of Spain hoping to remove them.