Criminologist: All arms of justice system have their role

Monday, December 9, 2019 - 11:30

Criminologist Dr Wendell Wallace is calling for all arms of the criminal justice system to begin working more efficiently and effectively.

Dr Wallace believes this country can get a handle on the crime situation, once the authorities work smarter and pro-actively.

According to the criminologist, one area which would yield immediate results, if dealt with, is the proper securing of this country’s borders.

“I have been raising this issue for the past 10 years—our borders are very porous,” he points out. “What are we doing to secure our borders?” he asks.

Dr Wallace notes that this country does not produce or manufacture guns—nor does any other country in the Caribbean region—but that roughly 80 per cent of the murders committed here, are committed with firearms.

Noting that this year marks the third time the country’s murder rate has crossed 500, the criminologist thinks the police can operate more effectively, especially if they take citizens’ concerns more seriously.

He also does not believe that having more joint police and military patrols is a good long term solution.

The police commissioner is on record as saying the broken judicial system is responsible for the fact that criminals continue to act with impunity.

However, Dr Wallace believes some of that argument is misplaced, noting that each arm of the justice system—police, lawyers and the judiciary—has an important role to play in the crime fight.

“I think rather than pointing fingers at the judiciary, the commissioner of police should be addressing the more nebulous concerns, such as low detection rates, and low convictions rates,” he asserts. “The commissioner should be putting systems in place to ensure that we take the fight to the criminals. While he is doing that, he must be aware of the fact that the police is just one arm of the criminal justice system, and that he must allow the other arms to function as they are supposed to.”

Dr Wallace advocates a multi-pronged approach to dealing with crime.

He says there must be psycho-social interventions, alongside the policing aspect, for anti-crime initiatives and efforts to be truly successful.



Story by NEWS DESK