Future of Beyond the Tape unknown

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Snr Supt Roger Alexander. File photo by Ayanna Kinsale

The future of the Beyond the Tape crime talk-show remains in limbo as Commissioner of Police Erla Harewood-Christopher has not yet given any directive regarding its continuation.

Snr Supt Roger Alexander, the police co-host of the show which aired on CCN TV6, was instructed by the TTPS not to appear on Thursday’s edition of the show. On Friday, a repeat of the Wednesday edition of the show was aired.

The instruction was issued after vice chairman of Parliament’s Joint Select Committee on National Security, Independent Senator Dr Paul Richards, expressed concern to the CoP about utterances on the show which he described as “in stark contradiction to what the police leadership is saying.”

Richards raised the issue with Harewood-Christopher when she appeared before the JSC on Wednesday.

Richards said, “The police leadership says one thing about gangs—the show is saying ‘we giving the gangs a bligh’. Is there a mandate for the show and does it take instruction, policy and public dissemination from the police leadership? Because every often I’ve heard contradictory information from the police leadership than to what I see on that show—and I don’t know which one to believe.”

Richards then asked Harewood-Christopher if the show was a replica of the thoughts and sentiments of the organisation’s executive.

Harewood-Christopher responded, “There may be at times when the presenter is a bit … averse to the thoughts of the organisation.”

Asked if she was pleased about the show, she said, “At this time, no…and actually the show is being reviewed.”

The show, which is co-hosted Monday-Friday by Alexander and TV6 journalist Marlan Hopkinson, did not air live on Friday and a re-run was aired instead.

Contacted for comment, TTPS corporate communications manager Joanne Archie said she could not say what will happen to the show.

She said it is a partnership between TV6 and the TTPS “as a crime prevention measure” but was unable to say how Alexander’s absence will be dealt with.

“I’m awaiting further guidance from the commissioner. Mr Alexander is not on the show, so I don’t know what TV6 will do,” Archie said.

Asked if the TTPS planned to replace Alexander with anyone else Archie said, “No, I don’t have any instructions from the CoP at this time.”

Newsday also asked Archie about the CoP’s claims that the show was monitored by the TTPS communications department.

Archie said she “would not want to comment until the commissioner makes a further statement.” Pressed further on the matter, Archie said, “I am awaiting further guidance from (the CoP).”