December retail sales respectable, not robust

Posted On Dec 29 2019 by

first_imgNEW YORK – Retailers faced an uncertain 2006 Thursday after December’s modest sales gains showed that the holiday shopping season, while overall respectable, was disappointing for some of the nation’s most prominent merchants. As expected, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. was one of the stragglers, falling short of Wall Street’s expectations and warning about its fourth-quarter profits. It was clear as stores released their monthly sales figures that consumers, mindful of the rising costs of energy and borrowing money, were particularly cautious during the holidays. Winning retailers included Target Corp., Costco Wholesale Corp., upscale stores such as Nordstrom Inc., and teen retailers such as Abercrombie & Fitch Co. Gap Inc., Sears Holdings Corp. and Kohl’s Corp. were among the other disappointments. That means November-December sales were up 3.5 percent, the high end of Niemira’s forecast, but a bit below the 3.7 percent pace for the entire fiscal year. Niemira expects the sales pace could average a more modest 3 percent this year. After an uneven start to the holiday season, many retailers struggled in December as shoppers appeared to procrastinate even more than in the past. The exceptions were those selling hot consumer electronics items such as Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox 360 and digital music players, all of which were snapped up by shoppers early in the season. A variety of factors created more angst for merchants. They included a late Hanukkah and the New York City transit strike, which occurred in the critical final days before Christmas, hurting retailers in Manhattan. Another factor that depressed December figures was robust online spending, which is excluded from retailers’ same-store sales. According to comScore Networks, online holiday spending excluding travel rose a better-than-expected 25 percent to $19.6 billion, compared with a year ago. Gift card sales also pushed December business into January or even later; gift card sales are only recorded when they are redeemed. Niemira expects same-store sales to rise anywhere from 3 percent to 3.5 percent in January, boosted by gift card redemption. But how and when customers use their gift cards will determine the strength of fourth-quarter profits. According to Hastings, profits look “like they held up,” as stores generally kept to their planned discounting strategy. But merchants who rushed in spring merchandise and new winter clothing the day after Christmas are counting on gift card holders to pay regular price. Wal-Mart warned that its profits would be disappointing, at the low end of expectations. The company reported a slim 2.2 percent same-store sales gain for December. The results – the weakest December performance since 2000 – missed the 2.4 percent estimate from analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial. Hastings attributed the weakness to two factors: sales of low-margin food that outpaced demand for general merchandise and a modest performance at the company’s Sam’s Club, which sells high-ticket items. Rival Target, which had a slow start to the holiday season, rebounded with a 4.7 percent same-store sales gain in December, better than the 4.6 percent estimate. Kohl’s posted a 4.6 percent gain in same-store sales, below the 5.4 percent estimate. The company reduced its fourth-quarter outlook. Sears Holdings said same-store sales tumbled 11.9 percent at its Sears stores for the nine-week period ended Dec. 31 because of a lack of special promotions. Meanwhile, same-store sales at its Mart stores rose 1 percent. Costco posted a 7 percent gain in same-store sales, beating the 6 percent estimate. Luxury retailers had a strong December following an unusually slow November. Nordstrom reported a 7.7 percent gain in same-store sales, much better than the 3.8 percent forecast. Federated Department Stores Inc.’s same-store sales rose 3.4 percent, better than the 2.1 percent forecast. J.C. Penney Co. Inc had a 2.2 percent same-store sales gain in its department store group, missing the 2.5 percent analyst estimate. Gap posted a 9 percent decline in same-store sales, worse than the 3.8 percent drop analysts expected. Abercrombie & Fitch had a 29 percent gain in same-store sales, beating the 18.2 percent estimate from Wall Street. On Wednesday, American Eagle Outfitters Inc. announced a 9.8 percent same-store sales gain, exceeding the 3.5 percent estimate. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan Clarkson “This is not a great showing, but not a poor showing. It is somewhere in between,” said Michael P. Niemira, chief economist at the International Council of Shopping Centers. “Consumers are not splurging everywhere. It is a little here and there. The consumer is very selective.” Niemira noted that retailers will face a tougher environment over the next few months as higher heating bills, a weakening housing market and rising interest rates will probably curb consumer spending. One potential bright spot is a steadily improving job market, which helped boost consumer confidence last month. The Labor Department reported Thursday that the number of newly laid-off workers filing claims for unemployment benefits fell last week to the lowest level in more than five years. “As long as people can find the right merchandise, have a job and borrow a little bit, they are going to go shopping,” said Richard Hastings, an analyst at Bernard Sands LLC, who was more upbeat. “Overall, the holiday season was good. Retailers who had it all nailed down were the winners.” The UBS-International Council of Shopping Centers retail sales tally posted a modest 3.2 percent sales gain, at the midpoint of the 3 percent to 3.5 percent growth forecast for the month. The tally is based on same-store sales or sales at stores open at least a year, considered the best indicator of a retailer’s health. last_img read more


Posted On Dec 28 2019 by

first_imgA MAN has appeared in court charged in connection with a notorious ‘riot’ at a house party which left a house trashed.The scene at Thornberry the night after the ‘riot’Thirteen people were arrested after the major disturbance at a house on the Thornberry estate near Mountain Top in Letterkenny in October 2011. Up to 20 Gardai, some in protective clothing, were rushed to the disturbance.Martin McClelland, of 36 Manor View, Letterkenny, yesterday pleaded guilty to criminal damage to a number of household items.The court heard he admitted smashing up bedroom furniture including bedside lockers.He also admitted smashing a clothes horse.The case was adjourned for sentencing in July and McClelland remanded on continuing bail.MAN ADMITS ROLE IN NOTORIOUS LETTERKENNY ‘PARTY’ RIOT was last modified: April 24th, 2013 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:MAN ADMITS ROLE IN NOTORIOUS LETTERKENNY ‘PARTY’ RIOTTHORNBERRYlast_img read more

SA films scoop awards at Fespaco

Posted On Dec 19 2019 by

first_imgJohn Kani in a scene from the play“Nothing but the truth”. The movie adaptation won the Silver Stallion of Yennenga, the Second most prestigious prize at Fespaco. (Image: Village Voice) A scene from the gangster movie Jersusalema, set in the hard Johannesburg inner-city flatland of Hillbrow. (Image: Jerusalema) Rapulana Seiphemo, who plays the grownup, streetwise Lucky Kunene, won the Best Actor Award at Fespaco. (Image: Jerusalema) Tendeka Matatu, the producer of “Jerusalema”, shortly after receiving the three awards scooped by the movie.(Image: Khanyi Magubane) A riot scene from the four part series “When we were black”. (Image: SABC)Khanyi MagubaneVeteran actor John Kani’s screen adaptation of his play Nothing but the Truth took the top honours at the Fespaco Film Festival in Ouagadougou when it won the Silver Stallion of Yennenga, the second most prestigious award at the festival.The film also won the Ousmane Sembene Prize for Peace, sponsored by Ecobank, one of Burkino Faso’s leading banking institutions.In the film, director and lead actor, Kani, plays a librarian, Sipho, who is denied a promotion. Sipho is embittered by the favouritism his parents showed his elder brother, who died in exile, leaving Sipho the burden of burying him after his daughter repatriates his remains.In real life, police shot Kani’s brother dead in a church while reading a poem at the funeral of a nine-year old girl killed during an anti-apartheid riot.Telling Soweto storiesThe imaginative director Khalo Matabane’s television series When we were Black received an award for the Best Television Series.When we were Black is set in Soweto in the 1970s and deals with the coming of age of a 17-year-old boy, Fisto. Determined to get the girl of his dreams, Mangi, he even joins the school choir because she sings in it.   Unfortunately for Fisto he is tone deaf and the choirmaster terminates his singing career, but keeps him as an assistant.After a dramatic series of events, Fisto eventually declares his love for Mangi. That day the two make love the first time.The theme of innocence lost is used as an extended metaphor as the day they consummate their love is also the day of the Soweto student uprisings, June 16 1976.The two lovers watch in horror as the town outside explodes with students confronting policemen, bodies, young blood and gun fire filling the streets.Their innocence is lost forever in that moment, and so is Soweto’s, which will never be the same.The film was initially pitched at the Sithengi Film and TV Market as a feature, but later commissioned as a four-part one-hour series by the SABC.It was, however, re-edited into a full feature for the festival.  To give the film an authentic feel of the student uprisings, actual archived material is used as part of the production.In addition, a portion of a neighbourhood in Soweto was used to recreate the 1970s.At the 2007 South African Film and Television Awards, Matabane scooped seven awards for the project. These included best music score, script, wardrobe and overall drama.“Working with Khalo Matabane on this important and historical series was an incredible journey.“His ability to work through the characters and how the characters drive the story, the conceptual decisions to shoot the series very tight so as to be authentic to 1976 with the limitations we faced, was both an honour and an emotional experience,” says film producer Carolyn Carew.The gangster movie Jerusalema, set in Hillbrow in downtown Johannesburg, received three awards for Best Actor, Best Editing and Best Cinematography.The film follows the rise of Lucky Kunene, a once petty criminal who rises in the ranks of the criminal underworld.After cutting his teeth on hijacking, he moves to Hillbrow, where he tries to make an honest living in the taxi industry.However, after his taxi is stolen, he moves to a new enterprise, stealing buildings. Along the way he makes numerous enemies, falls in love with a Jewish girl, and is constantly on the run from the police.With the police closing in on him, the streetwise Kunene tries to stay ahead of the game.In the Best Documentary category, the award went to Egyptian filmmaker, Jihan El-Tihari, for Behind the Rainbow.Behind the Rainbow tells the story of liberation movements who go on to assume power. The catalyst for the story is the relationship of former president Thabo Mbeki and current ANC president Jacob Zuma.The once close relationship of the two men crumbles as comradeship quickly evaporates to make way for power mongering within the organisation.Preserving African heritageAnother South African project, which was nominated for this year’s awards, was the documentary feature of award-winning filmmaker, Zola Maseko’s Manuscripts of Timbuktu.  This is not the first time that South Africa has featured prominently in this competition. In 2005, Maseko’s film Drum took the top award, the Golden Stallion of Yennenga.The history of the manuscripts can be traced as far back as the 12th century. Islamic scholars brought them to the city of Timbuktu, then a trading hub for businessman, especially in the salt industry.There were several thousands of manuscripts. The bound texts contained teachings of Islam during the middle ages and covered a variety of subjects. These included astronomy, medicine, mathematics, chemistry, judicial law, government, and Islamic conflict resolution.By the 1300s the “Ambassadors of Peace” (who were the great teachers of the time) centred at the University of Timbuktu, created roving scholastic campuses and religious schools of learning that travelled between the cities of Timbuktu, Gao, and Djénné. At its peak, over 25 000 students attended the University of Timbuktu.By the beginning of the 1600s, Moroccan invasions from the north started to affect scholars and they slowly drifted to other areas of the Mahgreb, or North Africa, where they could study in peace. As a result the city’s manuscripts suffered a severe blow, many falling into an irreparable state.The film reveals the history of the priceless manuscripts, through the story of Ahmed Baba, one of Africa’s greatest yet seldom acknowledged or known intellectuals.Regarded as one of the most prolific writers of his time, this intellectual held great knowledge and subsequently became one of the most frequently consulted figures in the Mahgreb.In a bid to take the viewer back to the heart of 14th century Timbuktu, when it was regarded as an intellectual hub for writers, teachers, religious leaders, mathematicians and scientists, Maseko dramatises the major periods in Baba’s life.The film allows the viewer to experience life within the city and its holy mosques. It also tracks Baba’s journey, which eventually saw him uprooted from the great city and travelling to his final destination, Morocco.Talking about his film, Maseko says the idea was first pitched to him four years ago by then-justice minister Brigitte Mabandla. “Back then, I didn’t even know much about the manuscripts.“I remember her [Mabandla] describing to me in great detail about tattered old trunks under people’s beds and how these manuscripts have survived over hundreds and hundreds of years.”While conducting his research, the history and intrigue of the manuscripts became more than just a concept. “We have a rich, intellectual heritage that has been kept hidden from us and the more I researched, the more obsessed I became. The final product is The Manuscripts of Timbuktu.”Related articles2010 opportunities for SA film 2010 TV opportunity for youth Cape Town: Africa’s Hollywood Global acclaim for SA filmUseful linksTimbuktu foundationSABC Corporate Jerusalema – the movielast_img read more

SA communicators call for mobilisation behind 2010 Fifa World Cup™

Posted On Dec 19 2019 by

first_imgMinister of Transport Sibusiso NdebeleThrough the 2010 FIFA World Cup™, we can tell the story of Africa – tell her story because we are proud.At the fourth and final 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ communicators’ conference, hosted today by the National Communications Partnership (NCP), speakers including Minister of Transport, Mr. Sibusiso Ndebele and Dr. Irvin Khoza, Chairperson of the 2010 FIFA Organising Committee called for all South Africans and Africans to come together to ensure that we host an event that will be talked about by generations to come.“As a country and continent, we will need to pull together. The 2010 FIFA World Cup calls for unity of our people because together we can do more,” said Minister Ndebele. Dr. Irvin Khoza said that South Africans must realise the enormity of the opportunities that are being generated through the tournament. The World Cup will be delivered on a far bigger scale than the Confederations Cup.  To date, for example over 14 000 applications have been received for the volunteer programme.Dr Irvin Khoza, chairman of the 2010 FIFAWorld Cup Organising Committee According to Khoza, the psychological readiness of the nation is critical. “There is one show on the road at the moment and a psychological adjustment from all South Africans is needed.”Khoza said that South Africans need to be thinking of the World Cup as a 30 day commercial for the country that will be watched by billions around the globe. “The extent to which the tournament changes lives will be largely determined by the degree to which we use the tournament to build up to 2010.”The 11th June 2010, with the opening of the World Cup is arguably South Africa’s next defining moment. Historically, we have successfully hosted Rugby and Cricket World Cups, continental and global football tournaments, global conferences and four peaceful democratic elections, but never anything on a scale that is arguably larger than the Olympics.Khoza affirmed that the 2010 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee has a very good understanding of what is needed for next year’s event. “We must be relentlessly positive,” he said. “As South Africans, we have the tendency to be self critical. We should see everything in perspective and importantly, see the positive stories.” He referred to outstanding progress that has been made by 2010 FIFA Organising Committee over the past five years, through the building of six new stadiums in less than four years and the potential legacy that will be generated in terms of job creation, tourism, trade and investment.“We must be proactive and stay ahead of the story – not merely reacting to everything being said,” he added. The 2010 story is one of a continent that is being redefined in a historic way.“We must be Pan-African,” Khoza concluded. “South Africa 2010 must be pan-African in word and deed, as we stage a tournament that inspires all of Africa.” This tournament must ensure that our African teams feel like they are playing at home, as we celebrate Africa’s home-grown heros.” From Cape to Cairo, Khoza reiterated that Africa must stand together as never before –  to create a sweet chorus singing the same song in perfect harmony.“This World Cup is the real thing. You must feel that there is something happening in this country. The banners you use must be larger than life. Every street corner must be filled. We must feel that this show is in town,” Khoza concluded. About the International Marketing of South Africa (Brand South Africa) The International Marketing Council of South Africa was established in August 2002 to help create a positive and compelling brand image for South Africa. At that time, the world was unsure about what to think of South Africa, with many different messages being sent out by various sources. This did very little to build the country’s brand and it was evident that to attract tourism and investment there was a need to co-ordinate marketing initiatives to make them more effective. This led to the creation of the IMC, whose main objective is the marketing of South Africa through the Brand South Africa campaign.  There are many benefits to having a consolidated brand image, with the most important being that a consistent Brand South Africa message creates strategic advantages in terms of trade and tourism for the country in an increasingly competitive marketplace.About the National Communications Partnership Government Communications (GCIS) and the IMC are the custodians of the NCP. This partnership is aimed at forging alignment of communication among government and private-sector marketing and communication specialists.For further information:Margaret DingaloDirector: Stakeholder RelationsInternational Marketing Council of South AfricaTel: +27 11 483 0122last_img read more

Lake Erie Bill of Rights

Posted On Dec 17 2019 by

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Lake Erie Bill of RightsOn Feb. 26, 2019, citizens in the city of Toledo will vote on whether to amend their city charter to include the “Lake Erie Bill of Rights” (LEBOR). The Lake Erie Bill of Rights, or LEBOR, states that Lake Erie, and the Lake Erie Watershed, has the right to “exist, flourish and naturally evolve…” and gives any Toledoan the right to file a lawsuit on the lake’s behalf against any business in the Lake Erie Watershed.Ohio Farm Bureau is staying abreast of this issue and will be posting updates as they are known.Farmers are encouraged to enroll in an agricultural district. The ag district program provides an affirmative defense for farmers in certain types of nuisance lawsuits. While it is not certain this defense will apply in LEBOR cases, it is one of the best and most underutilized tools in agriculture. Enroll in an ag district via the county auditor. Learn more.last_img read more

Victorious Indian team felicitated by President

Posted On Nov 28 2019 by

first_imgLess than 24 hours after creating history by winning the World Cup at the Wankhede stadium, the triumphant Indian team led by Mahendra Singh Dhoni was felicitated by President Pratibha Patil at Raj Bhavan in Mumbai on Sunday.Attired smartly in striped team T-Shirts, the 15 members of the team and other support staff drove down in two buses from their hotel to the Raj Bhavan, as hundreds of fans lined up on both sides of the route to see their favourite players.Before the arrival of the President, the entire team, with captain Dhoni sporting a new bald look posed with the World Cup for a photograph.Later, they posed for a picture with the President, Maharashtra Governor K Sankaranarayanan, state Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and International Cricket Council chief Sharad Pawar.The President, who had watched the rip-roaring final at the stadium last evening, shook hands with all the team members as Dhoni introducing each member to her.– With PTI inputslast_img read more

10 months agoGenoa coach Prandelli wants more after defeating Atalanta

Posted On Oct 28 2019 by

first_imgAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Genoa coach Prandelli wants more after defeating Atalantaby Carlos Volcano10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveGenoa coach Cesare Prandelli is demanding more from his players after their 3-1 win over Atalanta.Atalanta had two players sent off on the day.Prandelli said, “We wanted the win, and I think I can say we deserved it,” said Prandelli, in an interview with Radio Rai. “We played against a strong team that has been working together for years.”It was an exhausting game in which we had to give a lot, but we did a good job in countering them. The lads did really well.”I sincerely hope we can build on this victory, because this group has the potential to do that.” last_img read more

Video: Colin Cowherd Explains Why He Thinks Ohio State Should Get In The Playoff Over Alabama

Posted On Oct 27 2019 by

first_imgFS1's Colin Cowherd.FOX Sports radio host Colin Cowherd doesn’t think that Alabama belongs in the College Football Playoff field, and he’s making sure that everyone knows it. Instead, Cowherd believes that Ohio State, despite not having a chance to play for the Big Ten title this Saturday, deserves the spot. His main argument? Alabama’s strength of schedule is weak, and the Buckeyes have a better loss.Cowherd also seems to be upset with fans saying it’s “outrageous” that he has OSU in over Alabama. “Why is it outrageous to think Ohio State is No. 4 and Alabama is No. 5?’ – @ColinCowherd. #HerdHere— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) November 30, 2015“I’m giving you facts, you’re giving me fiction” – @ColinCowherd tells a caller why the SEC is living off reputation— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) December 1, 2015Ohio State needs help to actually get in the playoff, regardless of Cowherd’s opinion. It’s very likely that in 2015, we have a new national champion.last_img read more

Jamaica Remains on Course for Drawdown from IMF

Posted On Oct 24 2019 by

first_img The Staff Mission Team’s second quarterly economic review report for Jamaica will qualify the country for a second drawdown totalling some US$30 million. This would pave the way for complementary funding support totalling US$270 million from the World Bank and IDB. Jamaica remains on course for a second drawdown of funds from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and supporting financial inflows from the World Bank and Inter-American Development (IDB), totalling some US$300 million.According to Head of the IMF Staff Mission Team to Jamaica, Jan Kees Martijn, and Finance and Planning Minister, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips, this is based on the country’s positive performance under the government’s economic reform programme for the second quarter of the fiscal year, between July and September, which recorded economic growth of just under one per cent.Mr. Martijn advised that approval of the Staff Mission Team’s second quarterly economic review report for Jamaica, under the four-year Extended Fund Facility (EFF) by the IMF’s Management and Executive Board, will qualify the country for a second drawdown totalling some US$30 million.Dr. Phillips also informed that this would pave the way for complementary funding support totalling US$270 million from the World Bank and IDB.Both Dr. Phillips and Mr. Martijn were speaking at a media briefing, held at the Ministry’s National Heroes Circle offices in Kingston, on November 13, where journalists were updated on the results of the Staff Mission Team’s second quarterly economic review for Jamaica, conducted over last week.Mr. Martijn, who advised that the team met with a wide cross section of private and public stakeholders over the seven-day period, commencing November 6, said the discussions  were “excellent,” and  focused on Jamaica’s economic performance under the programme and the policies for 2013/14, as well as the remainder of the progranme period.“The execution of the 2013/14 budget has been broadly on track and, more generally, overall policy implementation under the programme, has been strong. All quantitative and indicative targets for the end of September were met, including the floor on social spending. All structural benchmarks, to date, have also been met in a timely manner, although with some delay in the tabling of the fiscal incentives legislation,” he outlined.The IMF Mission Head disclosed that “preliminary understandings” were also reached with the government on a set of economic policies detailed in an “updated” Letter of Intent.Key elements of the updated programme, Mr. Martijn disclosed, include: implementation of the next phase of tax reform designed to increase support for economic growth, and facilitate employment creation; establishment of a “binding” rule to enhance fiscal transparency and lock in the gains from fiscal consolidation achieved to date; further reforms of the financial system to strengthen it, particularly in relation the legal and regulatory framework applicable to the securities sector;  strengthening the social protection framework, and enhanced efforts to move recipients from welfare to work.There will also be measures to promote economic growth through an improved business climate and competitiveness; and pursuing strategic investments.These policies, Mr. Martijn indicated, are “bolstered” by important support from the World Bank and IDB. The plans, he outlined, include, among other things, better targeting and management of public investments; projects to reduce the cost of electricity; reforms to enhance access to credit, and to make the labour market more flexible.“The preliminary understandings that we have reached on the programme are subject, as always, to approval by the IMF’s Management and Executive Board. And, provided that (economic) performance remains strong, consideration of the programme by the IMF’s Board, could take place by December,’ Mr. Martijn said, while expressing gratitude for the level of co-operation extended by all stakeholders with whom the Mission Team met.Meanwhile,  Dr. Phillips advised that the legislative agenda to be pursued over the next 12 months  include: the fiscal reform legislation, currently before Parliament, which is expected to be debated this month; the Secured Interest in Personal Property Bill, which will facilitate access to credit by persons using  their assets as collateral, which is also before Parliament; increased financing for micro, small and medium size enterprises (MSMEs) through the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ); flexible work arrangements geared at enhancing productivity; and legal and regulatory reforms conducive to collective investment schemes.“We intend to continue to build on the progress that has been made thus far to reform the country’s finances and we will endeavour to ensure that as many Jamaicans as possible, are able to participate in this effort to secure growth, reform our economy, and deliver on the legitimate aspirations of the Jamaican people. Now that the early shoots of economic growth are visible, it is incumbent on us to nurture them and to advance their growth to the fullest extent possible,” the Finance Minister said.Dr.  Phillips thanked the Mission Team for their work in concluding the second quarterly review, as well as the stakeholders who made key inputs in this undertaking. Story Highlights This is based on the country’s positive performance under the government’s economic reform programme for the second quarter of the fiscal year.last_img read more

Better policing

Posted On Oct 18 2019 by

first_imgWithout numbers to bandy, is it possible to argue that policing in India is in a bad shape? I think it is. Police are stretched, resourceless and politically kept on oversight. There are many more stresses. One more will do. No value is attached to the time of a policeman by those who have any kind of authority in relation to policing. Sounds staggering but so true. What gives me any right to speak on Police? True that CBI is not uniformed Police. It’s an investigation Police, but in areas of Investigation of terrorism whether Punjab or elsewhere and mafia which was my assignment in CBI I from 1984-1996, I needed help, co-operation and guidance from uniformed Police, its intelligence agencies apart from other sources. Plus after retirement from the CBI, I worked with Lt. Governor of Delhi during 1997-98 and again during 2007-2013 as his Police Advisor holding office as Officer on Special Duty (OSD). So, I rate myself competent. Also Read – A special kind of bondWhy is the police stretched? At the root of it is the assumption that a police man’s job is a round-the-clock job. If you have to be at it from dawn to dawn, the need to compress your work, be considerate in assigning you to work simply disappears. Since the policeman, irrespective of his rank, is on call 24/7, assignments pile on him and then he will stretch himself in an attempt to attend to all of it. The guilt feeling in the authorities after inflicting 24/7 hours of work is assuaged by giving certain sections of Police ranks 13 months salary for 12 months work. Ultimately, the stretched policemen produce shoddy stuff, bound to do so. How does he get away? Because though shoddy, its deleterious and toxic effects remain carpeted and just ticking. When it does explode in the face years later, it leaves the original defaulting policeman some distance away. In short, while a chef’s work or a doctor’s treatment or a lawyer’s argument or a District Collectors decision, if wrong may explode in their face, a policeman’s poor investigation will be exposed after trial and appeal years later. What we need is an eight-hour Police work for an individual policeman in the field with 24/ 7 policing. Once this concept is accepted, the implementation has to be done. It can be done. Also Read – Insider threat managementMoving to resources, the police station is at the heart of policing. The future will be three of them; Investigation & Trial, Traffic and Law & Order Police stations. At present all three functions are performed from one Police Station. Time is of the essence for every policeman. They must be so quartered that getting to the place of work should not be more than 20-30 minutes each day. Working eight hours a day and getting to work in 30 minutes at the most will maximise resources and ensure effective policing. It will also mean that when a cop is off duty, policing is not off. It continues in else’s hands. This will appear absurd to old hands in the police. It goes against the grain of Police work being individual work, especially in areas of investigation and prosecution thereafter. In order to beat the resource crunch and consequent delay, it’s necessary to sell the idea of passing on the responsibilities of investigation and prosecution instead of insisting that the original investigator/prosecutor must work on it all through his working life. Our court trials last long; 10, 15, even 20 years. It means while he/she adds on years of work, the responsibility undertaken in the past just tags along. This concept is so hardened into police minds that doing it any differently seems utterly absurd. Resource-crunch is a reality and therefore the management of resources has to be real. Along with this, the infusion of technology and its help is the way out of resource-crunch. One could go on and on and mention the do’s and the don’t’s to show how it is possible but it is best left to the senior managers in the police. The political oversight over all policing is India’s worst kept secret. India’s CJI bluntly told the CBI that it works badly when it investigates politically sensitive cases. The naked political oversight in all areas of policing is always manifested and in many ways. From recruitment to training; from posting to transfers; from field work to desk work; from investigations to trials and from their uniform to their civil dress. Tejendra Khanna, a former LG of Delhi mentions a discussion on police reforms where the subject of political oversight on police came up and one CM shot it down with a growl ‘take that (political Oversight) away and we will be powerless’ look. He had his peers nodding in approval. So far, only one PM has made an attempt to correct the cesspool which comprises the Indian Police at its worst. A B Vajpayee set up the Justice Malimath Committee in 2000 to study the mess in the police. It came up with studied reforms (158 steps) to overhaul our policing including areas where police and judges work in tandem. It was studied and a bill followed by The Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) 2005 as an Act got the Presidential assent but the implementation of these amendments is deferred indefinitely. This would have curtailed political oversight and given the victims of crime a voice. Neither ruling parties nor lawyers for the accused want it to be implemented. Hence, it is in limbo and our policing is in purgatory. (The author is a former Joint Director of CBI. The views are strictly personal)last_img read more