Our culture is simply that we must respect the uniform. It’s simple: “Thank-you Officer;” “Yes, Officer;” “No, Officer!” ALWAYS respect and obey the uniform.
Equally, this respect must also be earned by each and every officer after the sacred oath is sworn; otherwise, society will disintegrate from its core structure of law and order. Look around. Everything is connected. What do you see with murders per capita which surpass even Jamaica? Is it safe to go outside?
Today, unfortunately, this oath has faded for some officers and our parliamentarians are called to take account of our legislative deficiencies. Our legislative agenda must respond to the fact that officers in full uniform, heavily armed, have disgraced an entire protective institution, threatened our nation’s sense of security, are abusing public confidence and are betraying the only institution sworn to protect innocents and to uphold the law. Is there a society if there is no law?
According to the Police Service Act 7 of 2006, Chapter 15:01, a person who impersonates “a police officer, or a uniform, name, or designation, resembling and intended to resemble the uniform, name or designation of a police officer; or in any way pretends to be a police officer for any purpose which he would not by law be entitled to do of his own authority, is liable on summary conviction to a fine of thirty thousand dollars and to imprisonment for three years.”
That’s a jokey penalty for such a grave crime, but no one is laughing.
Recently, we have seen several separate crimes including kidnapping and robbery committed by persons in regiment or police uniforms from known police stations. Fully armed officers tied up my neighbor and stole the entire electronic contents of his house. When they came to my locked home, I was not home and they left empty-handed. Lucky them!
The question, I ask is, should these uniformed bandits, kidnapping or murdering criminals be prosecuted under the same civilian law, and receive the same civilian sentencing as a regular citizen who is not under oath “to protect and serve?”
In Trinidad and Tobago, if a citizen files a police misconduct suit, then that citizen might as well kiss his own life goodbye. Let’s face it, the protective services have been infiltrated by its own (minority) mafia, and they are armed and dangerous.
No one asked or forced any protective officer to serve. They know the oath, they know the prestige, authority and honour of the uniform, and they know that they have armor which can wreak Armageddon on innocents.
If and when they do, and if and when they are caught, and if in the unlikely collection of incontrovertible evidence the court finds them guilty, then I respectfully urge the legislature to amend the law to treat these renegade traitors in uniform with the strongest possible penalty!
In Trinidad and Tobago, it would be the death penalty or at least life imprisonment, and probably without any option for parole or pardon. I am certain these uniformed criminals would think twice before committing these heinous criminal acts against our people.
If our parliamentarians do not adapt the legislative structure in response to this new phenomenon of uniformed criminals, then our people will continue to reap the type of social, economic and cultural collapse which is evident everywhere.
As it stands, every citizen is now “locked up” behind bars while criminals (in and out of uniform) control our society.
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