2 Jan 2020

Letter to CoP Gary Griffith

Dear Mr Griffith,

Before you respond, I ask you to consider some words first said at the end of World War II:

Stupidity is a more dangerous enemy of the good than malice.

One may protest against evil; it can be exposed and, if need be, prevented by use of force.

Evil always carries within itself the germ of its own subversion in that it leaves behind in human beings at least a sense of unease.

Against stupidity we are defenceless.

    • Neither protests nor the use of force accomplishes anything here;
    • reasons fall on deaf ears;
    • facts that contradict one’s prejudgment simply need not be believed
    • – in such moments the stupid person even becomes critical –
    • and when facts are irrefutable, they are just pushed aside as inconsequential, as incidental.

In all this the stupid person, in contrast to the malicious one, is utterly self-satisfied and, being easily irritated, becomes dangerous by going on the attack.

For that reason, greater caution is called for when dealing with a stupid person than with a malicious one.

Never again will we try to persuade the stupid person with reasons, for it is senseless and dangerous.” [Dietrich Bonhoeffer]

Consider the murder rate in Trinidad and Tobago – which has already reached 535 as of today 31 December 2019, with one day left to go – I put the following questions to you, as the person responsible for the keeping of the peace (control, prevention , and detection of crime) in Trinidad and Tobago.

1.   What percentage of all homicides in the last 5 years have been successfully prosecuted?

2.   Does the police service have sufficient manpower and resources to effectively investigate all cases on record and those to come?

3.   In its current configuration to date, is the police service effective in controlling or deterring serious crime? [A straight yes or no would do].

4.   If ‘yes’ to the above, what percentage reduction in the homicide rate can the public expect to see – per annum – averaged over the next 5 years? [Using the average annual rate over the preceding 5 years].

5.   Is the country being held to ransom by criminals?

6.   Can we expect the detection rate for crime, especially murders, to rise above 6% (as cited by the USA)?

Now, I have asked these questions before, in February 2018. As expected, no answers were supplied. Not that I expected any differently. I also noted – with utter dread, I might add – that you used words to the effect that we (the public) should be grateful that the murder total is not higher [Daily Express, 28 December 2019).

Over to you, Mr Griffith. Ordinary people will await your sensible answers to my questions. I ask you to lead your flock away from stupidity. You are invited to prove Bonhoeffer wrong.