Editorial

Keep going, Commissioner Anderson, but...

Friday, October 05, 2018

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The call for a more public relations-driven commissioner of police is increasing in the chat rooms, on radio programmes, and even among those who ought to know better.

It is fully understood that the country's top cop ought to have good relations with the public in order to better communicate and to win trust and confidence for a battered and bruised force, which is rife with inefficiencies and corruption.

Our present commissioner, Major General Antony Anderson, has instead taken a somewhat different approach to his management of the entity which guards, protects and assures our populace. General Anderson, from the very outset of his tenure, had stated quite clearly that his approach is firstly to deal with crime and violence, with an overhaul of the force next on his agenda.

Crime and violence are all too prevalent in our society as even a domestic kerfuffle can lead to gruesome murders. So, General Anderson was correct when listing his priorities and, aided by the various states of emergency and the zones of special operations, the crime figures are trending southwards. There is still much more to be done, but for now the commissioner and his men and women, allied with the cooperation of the military, are getting the job done. We wish them continued success.

The task of readjusting the police force into a modern-day service is a rather difficult one. General Anderson has to tread carefully as he moves along that path as, while he is totally free from the squaddie mentality which permeates the force like an incurable sore, he has to be careful not to cause major disruptions within as he sets the wheels of change in motion.

There are some major issues to be dealt with in the force, among them the promotions policy. Policemen and women must have confidence that, by dint of hard work and application, they can rise through the ranks and are not encumbered in their professional growth because they are not the personal friends of the various commanding officers.

The issue of corruption within the force has to be beheaded with a sharp sword. Investigations have to be swift, and due punishment, where found necessary, administered quickly and without fear. The commissioner says he is committed to dealing with the problem, but we are yet to see any major developments in the public arena. It is an arduous task, but it has to be tackled.

There are many senior officers in the Constabulary who can adequately deal with fostering a better image in the public space. It is not necessary for the commissioner of police to be speaking on every topic that comes to attention. If that is indeed the case it casts a dreadful picture of lack of leadership on the officers just below the commissioner, namely the deputy commissioners, assistant commissioners, and the senior superintendents.

So, while at this juncture we will work with General Anderson and his stated mission of creating a better police service, this newspaper issues a warning that the wait cannot be too long and that results must be made public.

Fix the maladies affecting the force, Commissioner, and for sure, and without a murmur, you will win the support of those you are sworn to serve, protect, and reassure.

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