Sunday, February 25, 2018

Cops, not soldiers

Soldiers are not meant to police citizens unless under temporary emergency powers to maintain or enforce peace in wartime.

Give the police more teeth. Enforce existing laws. Increase manpower. Give them a salary they deserve, provide training and better equipment to detect and suppress crime, and get rid of the rot tainting them.

Soldiers with powers of arrest will create a war zone.

Soldiers are trained to kill or be killed. Citizens will become that enemy. This is the case worldwide. They are not instructed in the intricacies of discussion, chain of evidence or conflict resolution without a gun.

While I genuinely admire the soldiers who put their lives on the line every day in the defence of country, I have witnessed the unintentional damage soldiers inflict.

They do not read you your rights. You do as you are told. If you do not stay down when told, they will put you down hard. This is what citizens can expect if soldiers patrol the streets unaccompanied by police officers.

However, unleashing them upon the warring factions in Mango Rose and similar areas will probably accomplish what the police cannot: an end to the murders over turf and "disrespect".

Catherine Hidalgo

Port of Spain