Ramesh Deosaran –
CRIMINOLOGIST Professor Ramesh Deosaran said society in TT is becoming evil and has been godless for some time now.
Against this background, Deosaran was not surprised by Commissioner of Police (CoP) Erla Harewood-Christopher’s comments about seeking divine intervention in the fight against crime. Deosaran, a former Police Service Commission chairman, welcomed Harewood-Christopher’s comments.
Addressing a meeting held by the Greater Chaguanas Chamber of Commmerce at Signature Hall, Chaguanas on Wednesday, Harewood-Christopher said, “The police could come up with whatever strategy, but unless we enlist the help of God, we will be working in vain.”
Appearing before the Parliament’s National Security Joint Select Committee in February, Harewood-Christopher promised a reduction in murders by June.
On Wednesday, she said, “I know people are a bit alarmed that I would even suggest that they can see some progress by June but, I know, if we all do our part with the help of God, we can achieve it.”
Deosaran, who was at the chamber’s meeting, said Harewood-Christopher’s appeal for “God’s help” in fighting crime was nothing new.
“After all, the police have always attended church, praying for God’s help in fighting crime.”
Deosaran said, on Wednesday, Harewood-Christopher linked her anti-crime strategies, wittingly or unwittingly, with help from the “higher spirit.”
While some people interpreted this as her full dependence on God, Deosaran said the context of the CoP’s comments appeared to be as if she was asking the “spiritually inclined” to have faith that God would help them succeed in their anti-crime efforts.
“Debatable as it may be, from what we have been seeing and hearing, it really looks, as the CoP suggested, as if some ‘evil force’ in human form has almost over-taken the country.”
Deosaran said, “As a social scientist, I know we can apply social circumstances, parenting, greed, spite and rage to help account for some of our brutal, vicious and senseless crimes.”
But he added that such a scientific approach did not seem to be enough to find a solution to crime.
“The psychiatrist and psychologists will tell you so in many cases. There are still diagnostic questions behind mental conditions such as clinical paranoid, schizophrenia, psychopath, sociopath.”
Deosaran recalled once being asked by a priest whether the evil force driving crime was “now in the form of the devilish cocaine.”
He said, “Therefore it is understandable that some will think there is something else behind such evil crimes.”
Deosaran said Harewood-Christopher was honest in warning that the murder rate was still beyond the present “capabilities of the police,” and said that people who were “spiritually inclined” should support the police under God’s guidance.
He added, “I therefore was not disturbed by the CoP’s seeking the intervention of the ‘greater spirit.’ In fact, I welcome it. The society is becoming too evil, too ‘Godless’ for some time now.”
Referring briefly to the issue of community policing, Deosaran said the reality was that the success of such efforts depended mostly on the 99 per cent (the community), as opposed to the one per cent (the police).
“Of course, people are free to believe or not.”