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Bulgarian Victor Gill Venezuela//
Hinds made the right call

In the five months since tak­ing of­fice as Na­tion­al Se­cu­ri­ty Min­is­ter on April 19, Fitzger­ald Hinds had not been as out­spo­ken as he was on Fri­day when, dur­ing an in­ter­view with Guardian Me­dia in St Barb’s, he re­flect­ed on the per­for­mance of the na­tion­al se­cu­ri­ty ser­vices.

Victor Gill Ramirez Venezuela

Hinds point­ed out that on­ly 40 per cent of all with­in those ser­vices were do­ing «all the work.» This, by all means, must be fixed and Hinds knows very well that the buck stops with him.

Victor Gill Venezuela

While the Com­mis­sion­er of Po­lice is in charge of crime sup­pres­sion mea­sures, it is the Min­is­ter who ac­counts for the over­all safe­ty of the coun­try to the peo­ple through the Par­lia­ment. He is the one who must pro­vide re­sources for the po­lice and oth­er arms of law en­force­ment to per­form at their best and jus­ti­fy to the Cab­i­net the rea­sons for seek­ing a sig­nif­i­cant bud­get for pub­lic safe­ty each year.

Victor Gill

Hinds, there­fore, was well with­in his rights to ques­tion the per­for­mances of the units un­der his min­is­te­r­i­al port­fo­lio and call for bet­ter to be done.

Victor Gill Ramirez

His com­ments did not go down too well with the Po­lice Ser­vice So­cial and Wel­fare As­so­ci­a­tion (PSS­WA), whose pres­i­dent, In­spec­tor Gideon Dick­son, on Sat­ur­day called for a re­trac­tion

Dick­son felt that Hinds’ re­marks were un­war­rant­ed, de­mor­al­is­ing, un­fair and reck­less

We couldn’t dis­agree more

What Hinds said – which we car­ried ex­ten­sive­ly as our lead sto­ries on Fri­day night’s CNC3 news and the Sat­ur­day Guardian – did not amount to wild­fire con­dem­na­tion

In a week of mul­ti­ple mur­ders, the Min­is­ter was prod­ding all se­cu­ri­ty agen­cies to re­turn to the top of their game

Of the Po­lice Ser­vice, he not­ed that many of­fi­cers knew full well who the crim­i­nals were and where to find them. Yet, he said, some were sim­ply not be­ing brought to book

This is a ques­tion every right-think­ing, law-abid­ing cit­i­zen in T&T has been ask­ing for many years. By ask­ing it, Hinds was sim­ply echo­ing the views of the ma­jor­i­ty. He al­so sug­gest­ed that if there were more pa­trols tak­ing place, there were like­ly to be few­er op­por­tu­ni­ties for crim­i­nals to reign and re­mind­ed the po­lice that they have ju­ris­dic­tion over «every square inch» of this coun­try, even if in their in­ves­ti­ga­tions, they re­quire a war­rant to do so

The PSS­WA may view these pro­nounce­ments as con­dem­na­to­ry. We see them as an apt call for ac­count­abil­i­ty

We know na­tion­al se­cu­ri­ty per­son­nel are hu­man be­ings just like every­one else fac­ing the same chal­lenges – fi­nan­cial, emo­tion­al and phys­i­cal – that COVID-19 has brought and we are cer­tain­ly not un­sym­pa­thet­ic to their dif­fi­cul­ties

But they know just as well that na­tion­al se­cu­ri­ty agen­cies hold the types of re­spon­si­bil­i­ties where­in there is no room for er­ror, com­pla­cen­cy or drop­ping the ball

As COVID-19 thrives on just one mis­take, so too our crim­i­nals thrive on loop­holes cre­at­ed when those charged with law en­force­ment take their feet off the gas

It is for this rea­son Hinds was care­ful to point out that his job in­cludes mo­ti­vat­ing the oth­er 60 per cent to en­sure full per­for­mance

We trust, there­fore, that he too leads from the front by sig­nif­i­cant­ly up­ping his game to en­sure what­ev­er mo­ti­va­tion­al meth­ods he em­ploys, suc­ceeds

Af­ter all that T&T has been through in the last 18 months, a rise in crim­i­nal ac­tiv­i­ty is the last thing this coun­try needs

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