Edge of Anarchy

By Raffique Shah
January 24, 2017

Raffique ShahThe spontaneous eruption of a community close to the Maracas-St Joseph Police Station last week, which was triggered by the gunning-down of two men of dubious repute almost on the doorstep of the station, illustrates how this society has drifted to the edge of anarchy.

According to news reports, one of the men had reported to the station at around 3.30 pm as required by the terms of his bail for gun-related charges. The other had accompanied him. Seconds after they exited the station, six gunmen attacked their vehicle killing them.

Upon hearing the gunfire, police from the station rushed to the scene in a marked vehicle. The gunmen fired at them, too. One policeman was injured and the assailants escaped in spite of a massive manhunt. All of the above occurred in “broad daylight”, as my crime reporter colleagues would write.

That night, residents of the community burned tyres, blocked the road, and painted graffiti on walls threatening to avenge his murder. War, they told reporters, was imminent. Up to the time of writing this, four days after the mayhem, no one has been arrested.

Now, this is not the first display of flagrant disregard, utter disrespect, for the police, and for law and order, since the society started sliding down the slippery slope of lawlessness many moons ago. But the time and place—broad daylight, outside a police station—signal that criminals intend to take their war to the police. I shall not be surprised if they mount attacks against the police, or if the police flee their posts if such should occur.

From what I discern, the criminals seem to have better intelligence (information) than the police, they appear to be more skilled in weaponry, better armed, and certainly more motivated.

In other words, we law-abiding citizens cannot rely on the police to protect and serve us, as I wrote a few weeks ago. While there are always a few good officers in the ranks, men and women who are well-trained, fit, brave, and who honour their oaths of office, they are too few to man the gates against the barbarians.

If we agree that the police are critical to reining in crime, that for a number of reasons they are ineffective—look at their woeful detection rates across the board, not just murders—and that the service needs to be purged and rebuilt to restore citizens’ confidence in it, then we must also agree that the Government’s approach to these challenges is all wrong.

The Prime Minister announced recently that he had appointed criminologist Ramesh Deosaran to head a committee that will conduct a manpower audit of the service. The committee includes several police officers, among them ASP Anand Ramesar, a long-standing leader of the representative association.

With the greatest respect to Dr Deosaran, whose CV puts him among the foremost criminologists in the world, what can he offer as options for change in the service now that he could not conceive of and implement when he was chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC) between 2011 and 2014?

The PSC wields authority that neither the PM nor the Minister of National Security has, since it is meant to be independent of politics. The manpower problems in the service—and here I mean not strength or deployment, but training, attitude, performance, work ethic—have been around for decades. As chairman of the PSC, Dr Deosaran met them, and when he resigned, he left them untouched.

What will he do differently now?

The Police Service needs to be purged of elements who have rendered it impotent in the fight against crime—the lazy, the corrupt, and most definitely the criminals in the ranks, the officers who own drug blocks, control gangs, and worse.

It takes immense courage and strong political will to do what is necessary. That might mean firing half the current officers. Does the PM have what it takes to rescue the country from rogue police officers and their criminal cohorts?

He should bear in mind that George Chambers tried and failed. It was Chambers who commissioned the (Garvin) Scott Enquiry that produced a damning report that implicated, among crooks and criminals, the then commissioner of police, Randolph Burroughs, and scores of other officers.

Only Burroughs was charged, and he won his case. Chambers ended up losing the 1986 election 3-33, and went into oblivion. Most of the officers named in the report remained in the service and were promoted.

Patrick Manning and Russell Huggins brought in Scotland Yard officers in another bid to purge the service. The local officers, seniors among them, hounded the “Yardies” out of the country, just to preserve their turfs.

That is why we are where we are today: too many corrupt officers who are part of the criminal enterprise that wreaks havoc across the beleaguered country.

Who has the balloons to be our dragon-slayer?

6 Responses to “Edge of Anarchy”


  • Comrade, there is absolutely no disputing what you’ve written. But my friend there is no solution to this end-time problem.This is a trend rapidly growing like wildfire worldwide.As President Trump said on the campaign trail “there’s a breakdown of law and order.” If we put a man of your caliber, training and skill(younger of course) to man every police station in T&T it cannot come back to normalcy. Things can change a little if the leader got courage to change from TOP to bottom.But that’s not going to happen.God help humankind!

  • It was just last year police officers entered a Chinese national home and robbed the man. Two members of the army now dishonorably discharged was found with weapons on a mission to commit crime.

    The police does not work in the public interest at least that is the perception. They are like a huge gang operating on the self loathing exercise of a dysfunctional and dubious mal-adjusted spoilt teenager. You can’t talk or correct them, they reciprocate your chastisement by ignoring or mockingly doing the opposite, just to show you who is boss. That of course is not entirely true there are many good officers who put their lives on the line for the citizenry.

    To have a nation of peace and justice, law and order must rule the day. It is not to say that crime is prevelant in TNT it is prevalent everywhere. The problem is catching the criminal and bringing them to justice as soon as possible. In developed nation the response time for an officer is less than 10 minutes. The response time in TNT is sometimes quick at other times over an hour. That is unacceptable in an age of cellphone. 40 years ago our neighbour was creating a dusburbance we call the police and they told my sister “we don’t have a squad car and to monitor the situation and get back to them as soon as possible”. A few years ago my friend had a problem, family member passed away in Penal. The police had no vehicle,with incredulity in his voice my friend said he had to go and pick up the officer and bring him to their home. He also said no police activity after 9:00 p.m. The issue that was there 40 years ago was still there!

    There are ways to solve the problem, get standard dirt bikes uses less gas and can get to distant areas in a reasonable amount of time, especially in rural areas. Two officers well trained can make a diffrence in policing certain areas, of course a huge problem for officers is “no back up”.

  • A video clip was brought to my attention of a local comedian making an emotional plea to halt the blood letting in his native land. He mentioned a very interesting point as to addressing the problem by stating with utmost clarity that all of us are failures. He hit the nail bang on because the root problems are definitely bitterness, iniquity and greed which is universal in most ‘law abiding’ societies eg., Chicago, South Africa, Haiti etc.

    I agree with Raff that one of the contributors in this nightmare of impending fearsome anarchy lies with some of the police service officers. In fact a corruption index within the service can be established with murders committed, solving of cases with time as a parameter. If this index is compared with other countries regional and international we may find ourselves on level with Jamaica but quite a gap from other metropolitan countries on a per capita basis.

    We have seen over the years that a lot of capital and recurrent budgets been expended on the police service bearing very little results. Sadly to say that the approach must be now taken to expel those bad elements from top to bottom in the ‘protective’ service. Chambers, NAR made some brave attempts but have failed. Is it time that we know what has to be done but lack the spine to undertake such all because of popularity in the polls?.

  • Over 50 dead in January and no crime plan in motion. The nation is left to fend for itself as the Wolfpack roam the country looking for weak prey. This is setting up to be another record breaking year for murders.

    The police cannot stop all murders but they can prevent a lot more by catching the criminals. These hardened criminals are not afraid of anyone catching them. They have guns and they are a law unto themselves.

    How did we get here? That is the question.

  • What anarchy are you referring to Comrade Shah?In Venezuela ,they deal with 27,000 murders per year.Last I checked ,in Pax Americana ,there are 53 murders,every half an hour, in both Chicago,& NY -the 2 states ,where Hillary Clinton ,& Barrack Obama ‘s wife Michelle
    Obama was born.
    Tell us Mamboo,where de hell was the crime plan ,when said “Wolfpacks ,”were roaming over T&T, from 2010 ,to 15? Don’t answer ,you neo tribal bastard.
    A container destined for one of your Party financers ,was detected by Customs officials ,ladened with drugs ,& chicken.
    He claimed the chicken was his,but emphatically denied knowledge of the drugs. Your AG ,Rammy de Ramgoat lover,of Rover ,& Prison Gate fame ,his boss 4 National Security Chiefs,& that coward ,Nollywood/Bollywood acting Police Commissioner actor ,DCP Willow ,did nada.
    In de interim ,low caste Trinis, are clogging up our prison system,serving time ,for possession of 2 ounces of weed.
    ‘Where you at,Kamla ,one time pitbull ,’Anil Roberts , aka De Chief Dougla -Dope fiend,of ‘Life Sports ,’PP criminal enterprise ,fame?Yeah we know ,busy spending that $34 million hush money…acquired from….!Ooops ,lo siento ,I ain’t have no court clothes!
    Don’t worry Trini RawOils,we’ll deport the majority of our ultra corrupt,local Police (you are lamenting about )to Mars ,and replace them instead ,with hardworking ,(pro female rape victims )world class professionals ,from your ancestral India ,& Pakistan. Give it a rest! Sadly ,you (like similar ,SELECTIVELY OUTRAGED others ,of your ilk)fail to have an honest bone in your body,& so, won’t ever admit why crime is so rampant in T&T-and most murders are difficult to solve.

    However back to Uncle Shah.Sorry Comrade,but your idea of a military state ,as the solution for socio political problems ,is what gave the world Hitler ,Mussolini, Warmongering Generals in Israel,Pinochet, Castro, CHowechavez, Nigeria Buhari,and Zufilka Ali Butto ,plus ,Musaharaf of Pakistan.
    Let’s don’t forget , Argentinians,& Brazilian former military henchmen,Burma,Fiji,Uganda, Gambia, Haiti, Congo, & the list goes on.
    Ain’t happening here ,no matter how much you, and your fellow 1970 Tethron Gangreen Comrade ,Country boy ,speak glowingly of it.
    Let our misguided Prime Ministers , from Basdeo, to Manning, Kamla,& now Dr Keith , keep muzzeling our Police, by putting Military -Square Pegs -in round holes, as National Security Ministers,while holding out the naive notion ( to gullible Sheep like citizens ) that such will halt crimes. Didn’t work for old school UNC,&PNM,nor for UNC dominant ,PP,& certainly won’t ,under Dillion ,Dr Keith major crime solving dreamer.
    Tell you what ,if Papa Deffy Eric had any cohones,like Iron Lady Euguena Charles ,or the progressive leaders in Costa Rica,we too ,would have gotten rid of our Military,after 1970,when both you,and fellow idealist oï Lassale ,over played your hands,yet never paid any price .
    Care to hazzard a guess,as to what would have become your fates,or any fellow students ,if such blatant unpatriotic acts , were committed, by Sandhurst/West point /Yankee-CIA- School of the Americas,Coup schools? I’ll tell you,bullets in the back of the head,from a firing squad,then buried in a no name grave.
    Now here is the real deal when it comes to escalating crimes-especially murders-which didn’t just stop, once Kamla was kicked out from office. Critics claim ,our Police contribute to the crisis, since they lack proper training,& so are incapable of properly investigating,much kess solve cases. Such could be true ,especially if Kamla ,forced Ag Commissioner Williams to hire some 200 thousand ,closet Criminal SRPs,while purging the Police service, via forced resignation,and simultaneous promotion of tribal fans ,& loyal cronies.
    There is the view that they cannot be trusted, as many are closet bandits themselves,or are on the payroll of hardened criminals ,&major business folks,!who profit from criminal enterprises.

    http://www.guardian.co.tt/news/2017-01-29/penal-woman-missing-after-%E2%80%98job-interview%E2%80%99

    Well, that works both, don’t it? Can citizens be trusted by our Police, when they report to, & make claims , either as victims, or with some knowledge as to what might have transpired?
    Por ejemplo. Did legal luminary , Dana Setahal die , merely because she was winning too much at her favorite Casino spot, or is there more to her murder, than friends, family , strangers ,or enemies,are willing to let known to our Police?
    Diga me ,in busy ,down town POS, why would a 20 year old , intellligent, god fearing , female-en route to her home-bypass hundreds of toilets, but singled out that of IAM Company, located , all the way on the secluded 2nd Floor, where she even needed an escort( who coincidentally, is now in custody) to take her there?
    A 17 year old , highly spiritual Muslim girl , was found murdered, soon after her 33 year old boyfriend , miraculously escaped from 9 gunshots.
    Is she also , the innocent little angel , that friends,& family are potraying for both the public , & Police ?
    A middle ranking Prison officer , is murdered in front of his gate & we get one story .
    A much adored Doubles vendor, is murdered, in front of his wife,on the location he toiled on for 15 years,&we are fed a much sanitized maybe too perfect story.
    A trendy Casino worker simply varnished from Planet Earth,leaving her 3 million dollar Benz,on the roadside, as well paid PR teams,promote some opaque story. Yeah we know , T&T Chicas ,can purchase Benz vehicles, with minimum wage casino salaries.
    In like manner, a beautiful simi blond mother,is snatched off the streets ,soon after droping her kids to school, never to be seen again. With cameras rolling , a principal/ owner of a Private school, was dragged out of his home, never to be seen again . He left behind a distraught wife(who defends his honor , as an honest,faithful,loving husband) plus a 15 year old female student accuser, whose father, is stuck in prison , facing speculation , that he must have something to do the dissapearance of a man , who allegedly,had an inappropiare relationship,with his daughter.
    A low end soldier in his early thirties,& father of some 11 or more kids,from ‘me think ,’9 different baby mamas,is funned down like a Tocoo Racoon ,in Lavantille,& out comes the military PR squad ,as well as friends ,praising him ,as some great family man.

    http://www.newsday.co.tt/news/0,239097.html

    Sorry T&T,but it ain’t matter how many Yankee investigators are imported ,this one too will remain unsolve ,just like the SM Jaleel Coke deal ,White Europeans ,Tobago murder victims cases ,that simmered after much fanfar ,under the regime of criminal apeaser Kamla ,& her fellow PP bozos.
    What do we know people,but Four US based kids dumped their 73 year old Mama back to T&T, to live alone ,in a country she exited decases ago. They are all rushing home for the reading of her Will , to see how much they’ll each get
    The point I am making is this- The families ,& friends of each of these victims ,presented a story to Police investigatiors, that were pourus ,as Swiss Cheese, in a rat infested cupboard, which is guarded, by Fester, the Family , sly , always hungry , Los Bajos ,or Caranege Tom Cat.
    So therefore, if citizens , for whatever reasons , are unable to trust Police Officers, & Police officers , cannot trust that the reported stories, and explanations, they too are fed , are really authentic, then where does that leave us as society, in terms of our battle with crime?
    It’s worth aslo asking the following:-Did the Kamla , and Manning attempted soultions ,of bringing in White Overlords ,work?
    Are we really serious about halting crimes , or just blowing smoke up our….. ummmm… ,big toes ,’&elbows,with respect to this subject.?
    Be careful now Uncle Shah. Don’t want ‘to throw out de baby with the water,'(As we like to say on the Streets)re over kill,on crime,as that can bear bad dividends, down the road,as far as our Democracy.
    History would show ,that Peace time military blokes ,should not be over utilized ,doing Police activities ,or such,since they in turn might be ill prepared ,when needed,to tackle pressing matters, of external ,and even national disaster nature,when such presents itself. I’m talking about wars /border skirmishes,floods,earth quakes ,and the likes.
    This over zealous rush to action , led to the elevation of anti terrorist/ anti Islam Trump ,in America.,&Phillipines likewise got that extra judicial killing, undemocratic goon ,Rodrigo Dutere, as President.

    http://edition.cnn.com/2017/01/30/asia/duterte-south-korean-murder-corruption/

    In the case of Rodrigo ,the idiot started using his law enforcement aggencied, to murder his own citizens, & now , wants to flush out” Scalawags.”
    Now we don’t want that , do we?
    As for Trump, savvy ,level headed folks ,should continue to give him rope,& we savvy thinkers ,with understanding of political history,already know ,what would be the end result.

    Let’s keep it real shall we,Uncle Shah. With Papa Deffy Eric at the helm ,the seeds of criminality /lawlessness was sown in 1970, by you ,and fellow Comrade Rex.

    Thanks to Patrick Manning and Pal , Basdeo Panday,It blossomed in 1990 ,
    under Islamist Coup leader Lennox Phillips ,aka Yasin Abu Bakr,& now
    it is ripe for the picking.
    Put differently-‘dem chicken has come home to roost, ‘& you too , must take some blame.
    Kamla’s failure to win a single election,since 2010, is a testiment ,as to how citizens think about her,& party, with regard to crimes,so let them do the media tassa wine/ jig and dance, as citizens die on our streets- chiefly from guns, fuel by drugs, brought in via our porus borders.
    It so easy to throw our Police Service, & management under the bus, but remind us again Uncle Shah , who -after millions were already spent on training ,for our local Coast Guards-reneged on a deal to purchase 3 UK , BAE border patrol , Drug busting ships ? These criminal cuddling ,unpatriotic bastards!
    Nice article Uncle Shah!
    A word to the wise is sufficent,si?
    Stay Vigilant people!

  • First off I will will put it out there that I am a Canadian. One that Loves Trinidad and Tobago and have deep roots that are well known in Trinidad. We come down to stay in Tobago at least three times a year for at least three weeks a visit.

    To say That I am perplexed would be an understatement. I am not sure how infiltrated your crime is in your country but it certainly appears that it is endemic throughout. I was shocked and unnerved that given the last efforts to create a new direction in modernized training and delivery of various police services, they were summarily dismissed and sent back to Canada mid contract. This in the face of what appeared to be real success with a bit of upper end nervousness that they were actually getting close to some real trouble well up the food chain……nice. Facts speak for themselves.

    Directionally, where your island nation appears to be going scares the hell out of me. And I really don’t see anything being done about it. I can assure you that military is not a solution either. The one thing I will say for sure, where ever you are going as a country, you are going to get there real fast. Its really to bad. As a nation you have so much going for you.

    My deepest respect

Leave a Reply

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.