Saturday 28 March, 2020

Commissioner doubles down on demand for amendments to bail bill

File photo: Commissioner of Police, Gary Griffith

File photo: Commissioner of Police, Gary Griffith

Commissioner of Police, Gary Griffith is reiterating his calls for more drastic laws for those arrested with illegal firearms. 

The latest call comes after a Valencia man was fined $16,000 by a Sangre Grande Magistrate last week, after pleading guilty to charges of possession of a firearm and ammunition. 

Commissioner Griffith pointed out that over the last nine years, there were 1,457 repeat offenders with respect to firearm offences.  

“Let me remind you that 323 persons were arrested for firearm offences over the last three years and were given bail at their first court appearance, with hundreds getting bail subsequently. This means that someone was held by the police every three days for firearm offences. It was just easy for them to get bail, go back and continue their trade of killing persons, and when those released go out and commit more homicides, some would blame the police,” he lamented. 

"The vast majority of homicides are by those who have such illegal firearms. So, we arrested most, but instead of remaining where they belong when charged, they were allowed to return to society to continue their trade of killing. The TTPS has done its job through proper intelligence and operations over the years, by arresting and charging these persons, simply for the said “shooters” to go back onto the streets within 24 hours to continue their trade of killing,” he continued. 

Griffith has been calling on the Parliament to amend the law so that those held with any illegal firearm can be denied bail for a period up to 120 days. 

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