Any decision, once unexplained or unannounced, seems to be a crime, and this has been the case with two transfers effected by the Police. Two ranks have been transferred to hinterland locations, and as soon as the decision was taken by the Commissioner of Police, there was the familiar cry:
“Blame the Government!”
Many people have been critical of the Police, often blaming them for inaction in the face of reports of crime. Then the Police officers met for their annual conference and they reviewed their operations. They found that they needed to examine their leadership capabilities in the various outstations.
More often than not, the rural areas are ignored when it comes to concentrating the best talent on the Police Force. The best officers are placed at stations in the city and the best ranks are also placed there. The rural areas get the second-best and those who are borderline performers.
Even assets are deployed in the city, where there are most of the patrol vehicles and the motorcycles. This could be understood, because the city has the greatest concentration of people and because history has shown that most of the crimes are recorded there.
But if the critics have not noticed, crime is on the increase in the very rural areas, because of the pressure being placed on the criminals and because the criminally-minded in the rural areas have opted to play copycats. There are calls for action to nip this development in the bud, and there is no better way than to improve the quality of the Police officers.
This was a decision that the Police officers took when they met for their conference, and the transfer of the two ranks was a direct result of this. They were at the conference and they took part in the decision to enhance the effectiveness of the Force.
Robert Corbin was not there, and when the transfer was announced he immediately pounced on a reason proffered by someone, who knows that Corbin is gullible and would pounce on any reason to attack the Government. His information provider concocted that there was an order to shoot into the crowd and that these two ranks refused to issue such an order.
The Minister of Home Affairs has already dealt with this matter. He asked the question that any reasonable person would ask: “Who would want to shoot harmless people and create panic and chaos?” Corbin himself never considered this question, so he pounced on the reason proffered to him.
In his haste to blame the Government he never asked the policemen who were transferred; he never asked the Commissioner of Police; he never asked the Divisional Commander, and he surely never asked the President, with whom he should be consulting. Instead, he jumped at the reason offered and made a statement that has surely come back to haunt him and to expose his irresponsibility.
There is more to Corbin and his antics. He started his street protests under the pretext of supporting Sharma, and before the first protest march had ended, it included the global phenomenon of rising food prices. By the second protest march, Corbin had ditched the Sharma issue and had continued with his opposition to the global price rises.
That has since changed to the issue of governance, and of course the society expects even this to be ditched in favour of some other issue, real or contrived. In the end, the final drive is to blame the Government, and Corbin would find no end of issues to do this.
This past week, he and some of the others in Parliament decided to take the protest to CARICOM, seeking that body’s help for heavens knows what. Once more, he has resurrected the Sharma issue and he has included a few others.
One can rest assured that the society will see more protests, although there is the question of permission to stage the street marches. But, knowing Corbin, he will try to find a way around it, because he needs the attention to bolster his flagging political career, one that has seen him drift from bad to worse; and the society should not be surprised if he blames the Government for this.
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