Saturday, December 16, 2017

Dillon: Don’t lose hope with WPC’s murder


port of spain
 
National Security Minister Edmund Dillon has urged the population to not lose hope and give up in the fight against criminals.
He was responding to questions from the media on the murder of WPC Nyasha Joseph and the continuing spate of murders in the country.
Asked what message he has for citizens who are reeling from Joseph’s murder and others, and may feel a sense of hopelessness, the minister responded: “I don’t think they should feel a sense of hopelessness because the police will not put their hands up in the air and give up the fight against crime and criminality in Trinidad and Tobago, and neither will I as Minister of National Security, neither will the Government of Trinidad and Tobago.”
Dillon, as well as parliamentary secretary in the National Security Ministry Glenda Jennings-Smith, was speaking to the media during the Parliament’s tea break yesterday.
Citizens, he said, should not give up in frustration.
“We can’t, if we do that, it’s to almost die ourselves; we cannot, we have to continue our best efforts,” he said.
Dillon reiterated a minority are bent on cri­minal acti­vi­ties, but the majority are God-fearing, good-thinking people.
“Therefore, I believe the majority will always overcome the minority. We cannot give up, I don’t intend to give up as Minister of National Security...and I don’t believe the majority of the police intend to, neither the law enforcement agen­­­cies, the Defence Force; we’ll always be there to continue to fight to treat with crime,” he said. Aspiration and  expectation shut down 

Joseph said he received a message of confirmation that the body found by a fisherman yes­­­terday was that of Joseph.
He said a fisherman felt a heavy weight in his net, the Coast Guard was called in, divers went under and brought up Joseph’s body.
“Again, I offer my condolences to her mother, her family and, of course, she has a little daughter; it’s a very sad time to my mind,” Dillon said, adding he plans to visit the family.
He said he could not say yet whether the family would receive any compensation. The minister said investigations into the homicide are continuing and one person of interest is in police custody.
Joseph, who only recently joined the Police Service, was praised by her colleagues.
“From what her colleagues have said, she was a very dedicated offi­cer, she was a young officer...now about to start her career in the Police Service, with all that hope and aspiration and expectation that she has has been shut down,” said Dillon.
The minister said eve­ry murder affects him.
“I don’t feel nice when any citizen dies, quite frankly, whenever someone dies, whether killed or murdered in Trinidad and Tobago, I don’t feel good about it at all,” he said.
He said he starts his morning getting an update on what happened overnight so his “concern is always there”.
“Whenever someone is murdered, I always say that person is someone’s son, daughter, nephew, niece, sister, brother...,” he said. Insensitive social  media photos  Dillon also lamented the sharing of gruesome pictures of corpses on social media. Photographs of Joseph’s body being fished out of the waters were shared yesterday on social media.
He said legislation may be a way to deal with this.
“The whole question of social media, there’s a phenomenon we have to grasp with where all those graphic images is something we have to treat with in our country.
Sometimes, even before family members are aware, you get these graphic images on social media; just feel that it is someone close to me and before someone tells you in a quiet moment, you see these images flash on social media; it’s something we have to treat with legislatively or as a country,” he said.
Former deputy CoP shaken 

Jennings-Smith, a former deputy commissioner of police, said she worked in the very station where Joseph was attached.
“I feel very sad and very shaken also, but I know that as a young officer, you are always excited about the job, and if you notice, she was working in a station which was a high-crime area, Morvant Police Station, which I have also worked in. I was the ACP in that station district for about two years, so I know the extent of work that she would be carrying out, and from speaking to some of her seniors who are still there, they all said she was a very hard-working officer,” she said.
“The policing job is a most dangerous job; it’s something that when you go to work, you don’t know if you will return home,” she added.
“We don’t know the circumstances surrounding this death; I believe we all should wait till the enquiries reveal how she died and things like that, but certainly, I am very saddened and deeply shaken by that; it’s not the first time a woman police officer has been killed in these types of circumstances, it’s a sad occasion,” said Jennings-Smith.