PM declines comment on CoP’s performance

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, left, with Police Commissioner Erla Harewood-Christopher and National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds. –

THE Prime Minister has declined to comment on the failure of Commissioner of Police (CoP) Erla Harewood-Christopher to achieve any of the targets she set last year to reduce crime.

Harewood-Christopher was called to account on her performance and that of the police in reducing crime at a meeting of Parliament’s National Security Joint Select Committee (JSC) on Wednesday.

Asked to respond to comments she made at the meeting during a news conference at the Office of the Prime Minister at Whitehall, St Clair on Friday, Dr Rowley declined to do so.

He said, “That requires a whole press conference by itself.”

Rowley invited the media to attend a news conference on national security on February 6.

At times during the JSC meeting on Wednesday, Harewood-Christopher seemed challenged and struggled to answer questions from members about the success (or failure) of these strategies, and to give the public the confidence and assurance that the police are getting on top of the crime situation.

She often fumbled through documents before her and had to ask the chair for time in order to give her replies.

At a recent PNM public meeting in San Juan, Rowley defended Harewood-Christopher’s tenure thus far, especially in the face of the rampant murder rate as well as other serious crimes, including home invasions. He called on people not to denigrate the top cop, saying to do so would be of no value to the crimefighting push.

JSC chairman Port of Spain South MP Keith Scotland observed that next month will mark Harewood-Christopher’s first year as head of the police service.