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A recipe for disaster

A recipe for disaster

Mr Gary Griffith, in a very recent letter to the editor which received wide coverage in the local news media, asserted that it was not Covid-19 but his very astute leadership that induced a very motivated TTPS and reduced crime.

He asserted that the statistics on murders during the period January 2020 to the present time were better under his tenure than under the leadership of his successor, ag CoP Mr McDonald Jacob.

This is reminiscent of former US president Donald Trump’s assertion that only he can fix it.

Mr Griffith is entitled to his point of view. There are some in the society, both professionals in relevant fields of human endeavour and ordinary laymen, who will agree with him. There are also others who will disagree with him. That is to be expected.

In my view, Mr Griffith’s statistical analysis of the crime of murder during his tenure when compared with his successor leaves much to be desired. For example, much of the hardships experienced by poor families, after such a long haul, obviously would have been exacer­bated at the end of the period under reference rather than at the beginning. I do not intend to say much more on this issue as it is not the main focus of my letter.

Nonetheless, blue-collar crime, including murder, has its roots in certain unresolved social issues and, therefore, since it is multi­dimensional, it requires a multidisciplinary approach. The TTPS is only dealing with the tip of the iceberg. A whole-of-government approach is required to effectively deal with blue-collar crime.

One of my concerns has to do with the fact that Mr Griffith, an aspirant for the position of CoP, has chosen to publicly criticise, by name, another aspirant for the post, prior to the completion of the selection process by the PolSC. In his commentary, Mr Griffith singled out Mr Jacob by name, heaping scorn on his name, rather than address the issue without mentioning Mr Jacob’s name. It is not what you do, but how you do it.

In my view, this demonstrates a lack of mature judgment. Such comments can have the effect of undermining morale within the TTPS. What will happen if Mr Griffith is appointed CoP? How will junior officers view Mr Jacob, having regard to the public comments Mr Griffith has made about him?

This is why organisations, in both the public and private sectors globally, have meetings that are restricted to senior management only, in order to avoid situations where junior staff lose respect for their managers because they are criticised by higher-ups, whether such criticisms are justified or not, in the presence of junior staff. For higher-ups to criticise senior management in the presence of junior staff could have a very devastating/negative impact on morale.

I am also very uncomfortable with Mr Griffith being the leader of a political party and, at the same time, being considered for the post of CoP.

In this regard, some persons in this country take the view that once certain things are not prohibited by law, then it is okay. However, the law cannot cater for every eventu­ality and, therefore, for the sake of the maintenance of good order, heavy reliance is placed on the good sense, reflective wisdom and mature judgment of the citizenry. These are generally referred to as conventions.

How is Mr Griffith going to manage being the leader of a political party one day, and a few weeks/months later he is the CoP? Worse, he is politically opposed to the governing party and the official Opposition, and has repeatedly stated so publicly.

How is that going to work, although it may be his constitutional right to do so since there is no law against it?

What is there to stop an individual (not necessarily Mr Griffith) in the situation outlined above from pursuing his political agenda while in the office of CoP? Moreover, I am of the considered view that in such a situation there will always be the suspicion, unfounded or otherwise, by the Government, that such an individual is pursuing a hidden agenda.

This is clearly an untenable situation; a recipe for disaster. Crime is too important an issue to be enmeshed in such chaos.

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