Prime Minister urges Tobagonians: Work with police

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley. – File photo by Ayanna Kinsale

THE Prime Minister has called on Tobagonians to work with police officers who will be deployed from Trinidad to help fight crime.

At a media briefing on July 9, after a National Security Council meeting at the Office of the Prime Minister, Central Administrative Service in Scarborough, Dr Rowley urged the people of Tobago to view this operation as beneficial rather than a violation of their rights.

“I ask the people of Tobago that when this begins to happen, you receive this kind of operation as being to your benefit and not trampling on your rights and privileges. We all need to work together because we have one common purpose: to ensure that criminal intent does not destroy our societies.”

Rowley said approximately 90 per cent of the police officers in Tobago are Tobagonians, and while this has advantages, it also has drawbacks due to “familiarity.”

He stressed the need to draw on resources from Trinidad to improve Tobago’s ability to respond to crime, saying Tobago’s policing effort could benefit from more intermingling of services and greater use of national resources.

“Officers, particularly young ones, should benefit from exposure and training with officers who are not domiciled in Tobago. That will improve their development and skill levels and allow them to function more effectively.”

Rowley said while Trinidad faces its own significant policing challenges, Tobago, with its smaller population, should not be overrun by criminal conduct.

He urged residents to share information with the police, emphasising the importance of community support for effective policing.

“Many of you know exactly who is doing what, and you have not been sharing that information with the police.”