George: We should have facts

…before going to CoP on ‘ethnic imbalance

Story Created: Apr 6, 2011 at 12:03 AM ECT

Story Updated: Apr 6, 2011 at 12:03 AM ECT

Police Service Commission member Martin George had warned commission members against raising the issue of the ethnic imbalance without studying the matter with proper documented material and coming to a common position.

George gave his thoughts in an e-mail titled “Meeting notes for PSC, February 3, 2011”. The e-mail, which was sent to all members—Nizam Mohammed, Addison Khan, Jacqueline Cheesman and Kenneth Parker—was given to members of the media at the news conference held by the three commissioners on Monday at the Courtyard Marriott in Mucurapo.

George said he saw the commission had the question of ethnic imbalance in the Police Service as an agenda item to raise with the Commissioner of Police today.

“I would like, before we seek to raise this, that we have some proper information on this issue because I hate going in blind on these situations. This comes back to the question of the secretariat and the support services. If we are to be seen as a serious body, then we are supposed to have the figures, the statistics and the reports; where are the official studies done which show the extent of this ‘ethnic balance’? What are the causative factors and the reasons therefore? How does it affect the service, if at all? Does it lower morale, productivity or efficiency? Does it lend itself to a less effective Police Service?” George wrote in the e-mail.

George noted it was Israel Khan SC “who in his defence of the chairman” on this issue (the call by Fixin TnT for President George Maxwell Richards to revoke Mohammed’s appointment), had also raised the question of ethnic imbalance in the Police Service.

“We have to be reminded after all of our mandate and our remit. Ours is not an experiment in social engineering or affirmative action. Ours is clearly to monitor and manage the efficiency, performance and effectiveness of the Commissioner of Police and Deputy Commissioner of Police in their manage- ment and administration of the Police Service,” George said.

He added: “If there is some report showing that there is ethnic imbalance in the Police Service and that this is affecting the management, performance and effectiveness of the Police Service, then we should have this and have a chance to study this beforehand, prior to going into a meeting and raising this with the CoP.”

George noted CoP Dwayne Gibbs was from a culture that is driven by reports, statistics and analyses, based upon research and clinically presented data.

“I would strongly suggest we spare ourselves this embarrassment by having proper documented material which we as a body can study first and come to a common position before we present a case to the CoP on this,” he said.

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