Monday 24 February, 2020

Griffith warns against politicising TTPS

Police Commissioner Gary Griffith is warning political parties against making statements that seek to diminish the independence of the police service.

He was responding to statements made by UNC Public Relations Officer Anita Haynes who claimed the Government had plans to have opposition MP’s arrested ahead of elections this year.

Griffith issued a media release condemning the comments.

“The TTPS wishes to advise them that it is highly inappropriate and reckless to pull an independent institution such as the TTPS into their campaigning, via alluding that the TTPS can be influenced or directed by any political body or even the Government.”

He then made an appeal to anyone with information on law enforcement officers who may be involved in this plan, to file a report.

“The CoP wishes to ask any individual who believes he/she has evidence that can confirm that any Police Officer can forget his sworn oath of impartiality, and can be easily manipulated to commit such act, such actions would be in blatant breach of the TTPS Regulations and such officers would be immediately investigated.”

Meanwhile, the top cop expressed concern that such a statement suggests the TTPS is a tool of the Government and would act on illegal and unauthorized directions. He assured that he would never allow that to occur.

“The CoP wishes to remind those who should know better, if they are not aware, that whilst he sits in the chair as head of this highly respected and independent body, the TTPS would not in any way be influenced or directed by any citizen of this country to abuse their authority, inclusive of politicians on any side.”

He added that the comments were highly improper as it only served to erode public confidence and trust in the TTPS.

Further pointing to the police service’s impartiality, Griffith reminded that a Government Minister was arrested and charged in 2019.

“I did not hear anyone insinuate politics in that matter. It does not matter who you are. When allegations are made, we investigate and seek advice from the DPP, and then charge. No one is above the law. Let the law take its course and let our independent TTPS do its job without being unfairly tarnished by the Opposition.”

He also noted that Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar was cleared of any wrongdoing in the email gate scandal as well as the investigation into illegal drugs found on her premises.

“The CoP wishes to advise politicians from all sides to kindly have respect for an independent body and not attempt to politicize it.”

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