THE EDITOR, Sir:
About 20 years ago, I was in Florida watching television. The programme was interrupted with an item of news. Apparently, there was a major drug bust and about 200 persons were arrested in various parts of the US.
This was the culmination of an operation that lasted more than two years. It started with the discovery of ganja on the port of Miami and the decision was taken to follow it and see where it was going, who was involved, and how the system worked.
During this time, at least one of the Drug Enforcement Administration agents had so infused himself into the lives of those he had under surveillance, he accepted a request from one of them to be godfather for his first son.
About three weeks ago, a child porno operation was invaded in Canada. Scores of arrests were made and numerous children released. Again, this was after years of surveillance. In both cases, the relevant agency was able to state with confidence that the operation was completely dismantled and the particular loophole plugged.
WHY PUBLISH FIRST?
I mention all this because last week, there was a major news item about a bullet-making machine that was discovered at one of our ports. Something that had always concerned me surfaced again. Why is it that whenever certain suspicious items are found at our ports, the first act on the part of our law enforcers is to rush to the television stations with the news?
First, it is almost fraudulent to be accepting kudos. Everything that is coming through our ports should be checked. So it does not take a Sherlock Holmes to find something at our port.
Wouldn't it be more helpful to follow the item and see who are involved and try to learn something about the modus operandi of these persons? In this particular case, all that is taking place now is speculation, ranging from enterprising entrepreneurship to diabolical design.
I know this suggestion is not in keeping with the macho style that now exists in the force, but I would encourage our crime fighters to try a more scientific approach to what they are required to do. The killing of citizens does not seem to be working.