Sunday, December 17, 2017

A step in the right direction

 While deploring the low level of murder and other criminal detections, it seems unreasonable to unduly interrogate proposed legislation to expand the use of DNA samples.

As murders proliferate, and as the police remain clueless about those committing such crimes, it seems counter-intuitive to question legalising measures likely to provide investigators with better starting points for information.

With rare persuasive capacity, Attorney General Anand Ramlogan argued in the Senate on Tuesday  for the requirement of fingerprinting and of DNA samples across a broader range of personnel, including those in the police, military, prisons, immigration and other services.

“It is time to stop cursing the dark and to light a candle,” said AG Ramlogan, defending the expanded surveillance of officials, provided for in the legislative measures he was proposing.

Evidently, police and others prosecuting law enforcement matters, have remained at such a  disadvantage as to be liable to ridicule. Since ever-multiplying (and little-solved) crime can hardly be a laughing matter, legislative and other steps to help in prosecuting the “war” against crime must be taken seriously enough as to win public support.

As he piloted the Administration of Justice Bill, the Attorney General also voiced a glaring grouse that ordinary citizens have long been aware of.

“We all know, the brothels and the drug blocks, if they sometimes do not have the protection of those who are there to enforce the law, they cannot flourish and prosper in the manner that they do. That is why allowing them to give their fingerprint evidence and submit a DNA sample will help in the fight against crime, because if you are part of the problem, you cannot be part of the solution.”

So if the proposed legislation can assist in sorting the bad seeds from the many good and honest members of the security services, then there should be no hesitation in getting this legislation up and running—the sooner the better.

And the proposal to get all deportees—who have been returned to T&T from the United States and other countries—whether they have been found guilty of a criminal offence or not, to give a DNA sample is also a step in the right direction.

The crime rate has proliferated to such an extent that no one is immune from the criminal element, so any measure that attempts to assist those sworn to protect and serve to regain the upper hand is worth supporting.

And if they have nothing to hide, members of the security services should have no fear of submitting their fingreprints and DNA to be kept on record.

Any measure to turn the criminal tide needs our wholehearted support.