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It doesn’t add upleave

Published: 
Monday, February 19, 2018

The explanation given by the Police for the absent 800 officers during Carnival last week still doesn’t make sense. A day after announcing the figure, the Police explained that the “majority” of those missing were Special Reserve Police officers who did not turn up because of a lack of timely communication with their main employers elsewhere in the state system.

If indeed the case, we need to know how come the Police bungled the request in the first place, considering the importance of policing during Carnival—and this time made more critical by the alleged terror plot.

Who is to blame for such a fundamental error?

And, assuming last year’s request was handled better, why an even higher number of officers failed to turn up in 2017 and what has been done since to deal with them?

If the Police force were to be found in one of its own interview rooms, the shifty stories, the lack of details and the evasive answers would be enough to make it a prime suspect of mismanagement. Time to straighten the story, commissioners.

Understand ISIS

The authorities are right to seek to identify and disrupt ISIS’ leaders in Trinidad and Tobago as a part of its strategy to tackle extremism on our shores.

However, in order to really have an impact, they must also understand ISIS and how it operates. As it rose to power and terrorised parts of Iraq and Syria—with offshoots now elsewhere in the world—ISIS seemed to have developed a fairly loose operational structure. It’s more like a network of associates than a hierarchical and centralised organisation. A single person can be the entire cell and they don’t mind.

Thus, taking out the “head” of ISIS in T&T alone won’t stop its influence. The key is to neutralise their influence more than their supposed presence.

Gratitude

Every day, a number of institutions and people are getting on with inspiring charitable work most of us will be unaware of. They do it quietly, without demanding recognition or, often, financial gains.

Our Sunday edition featured one of them, the Princess Elizabeth Centre, which provides free orthopaedic services for children thanks to the time, expertise and help provided by many volunteers.

This newspaper congratulates and thanks all those, like the volunteers from the Princess Elizabeth Centre, for their hard and quiet work to help make T&T a better place.

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