Certain police officers tip off criminals ahead of police raids, lamented criminologist Prof Ramesh Deosaran, chairman of the Manpower Audit committee into the TT Police Service (TTPS), before a parliamentary committee on Thursday.
“When a raid is planned, the leaks come so quickly that before the police arrive the targets are notified.”
Deosaran said the public’s low confidence in the police was woefully “out of sync” with other countries.
He said young men must take personal responsibility in their lives, and not turn to crime by blaming poverty or a lack of motherly love. He urged the police to set higher entry qualifications for recruits, replace in-service training with pre-service, improve their human resource system and computerise their staffing data. Deosaran lamented that half of recruits fail the police exam, while some were uncommitted or corrupt. He blamed a poor human resource system for officers being on suspension for up to nine years, often with pay.
ACP Harold Phillip said despite the TTPS’s 7,800 sanctioned strength, at any time only 2,000 to 2,500 officers are on duty, including special reserve police (SRP). Deosaran urged a halt to hiring new SRPs, but Phillip said they had given yeoman service.
Phillip said unspecified “issues” affect male recruitment, especially in Tobago.
He said a lack of venue means the police can only recruit 200 people at a time, unlike yesteryear, when batches of 500 to 600 were hired at the Chaguaramas Convention Centre.