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Cops demotivated after public criticism—Williams
Acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams says officers of the Port-of- Spain Division are “demotivated” following public criticism of them and he is defending the officers in the face of growing criticism that they locked down the Beetham to look for a phone stolen from Adrian Colm Imbert, the son of Finance Minister Colm Imbert.
He said the officers were “investigating the crime of a robbery and not searching for a phone.”
Williams told the T&T Guardian yesterday that officers in the Port- of- Spain Division had been “working truly hard to deal with crime in the capital and they have been successful.
People claimed because the victim was Imbert’s son the police put a special effort in the case. But Williams denied this.
The acting top cop took the media to task for “peddling incorrect information.” He said reports made it appear that officers “acted in an irresponsible manner, nobody valuing that in the Port-of-Spain Division officers have been tripling up their efforts so that the embarrassment of the past where they had low detection rates should be nowhere in the future.”
Williams said the officers “were not being given credit for the success but they are being criticised for taking action because a minister son has been robbed.”
Declaring that people in Trinidad “have become so insensitive,” Williams said he had advised his officers who were “demotivated in the face of the criticism,” that they needed to keep doing the work “you are doing in Port-of-Spain.”
Because of their efforts, he said, the detection rate had gone from “17 per cent last year to 36 per cent this year and if they continue working hard they may reach 40 per cent in Port-of-Spain, for me that is fantastic and the country needs to recognise that and appreciate it.”
Williams said he knew nothing about high ranking unit leaders being involved in the recovery of the phone “because there is no direct involvement of the Commissioner or Deputy Commissioners on dealing with what was a robbery in the Port-of-Spain Division.”
According to Williams, “in Port-of-Spain you have a divisional commander who is a Senior Superintendent, if he gets support from the IATF who has a Senior Superintendent and then we have within the Port-of-Spain area the CID who has a Senior Superintendent, all of these officers have a mandate to team up to deal with crime in Port-of-Spain, so they have been doing that.
They have been coordinating and collaborating.”
It was that collaboration, he said, which had led to the “progress in 2018 so that Port-of- Spain could be much different.”
Williams said the unit leaders have a “responsibility to ensure that if they have a lead to follow they do so.”
He said the search was not for a “phone, but the crime that was committed was a robbery it was not about going to look for a phone, that was nothing unusual or special.”
He recalled that only recently a vehicle was stolen from the Port and within an hour “it was recovered in Port-of-Spain.”
He said it was the commissioner’s “testimony to the work the officers are doing that they are really doing excellent work and now they feel demotivated,” Williams said.
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