10 Feb 2018

Police shortage limboing along

The Express of 8 January 2018 quoted DCP Dulalchan as saying the police service needs approximately 1,100 officers. It’s a rather astounding statistic, much in similarity with Imbert’s announcement that the country was short of approximately 1,500 doctors.

The astonishment isn’t that the figures are high. The astonishment is that the ‘authorities’ seem to have awoken from some deep slumber to realise the deficiency. What is not a surprise is that the shortage didn’t happen overnight, although the ‘powers-that-be’ appear to be caught with their pants down. No, this situation was some time in the making.

Where does the problem lie? Well to start with, it’s the President who is responsible for appointing persons to the various Commissions, which in turn are responsible for appointments. Since the ‘lame duck’ in office had neglected to appoint a full Police Services Commission (PSC) in the past year, we can now see the effects of his negligence, especially in the doubtful state of whether the current PSC is even legal without a full complement of bodies, as revealed by the search for a Police Commissioner

My concern is not so much finding bodies to place in office, any person with 5 ‘O’ levels will qualify - and grade 3 at that. The real problem is that by starting with the bar so low, the bar scarcely raises during their careers. The bar, as I noted before, is very much like a limbo bar, where the police believe success is to keep lowering it and not falling flat on their collective behinds. The question is whether any Government has the political willpower to effect the necessary changes to make an efficient police service.