Tuesday 23 July, 2019

Police Association raises concerns about stability of Rio Claro Court

The Trinidad and Tobago Police Service Social and Welfare Association (TTPSSWA) has requested a copy of a structural engineer’s report on the status of the Rio Claro Magistrates’ Court.

The Princes Town Magistrates’ Court and the Rio Claro Magistrates’ Court were both affected during the 6.9 magnitude earthquake which rocked this country on August 21.

The proceedings at the Princes Town courthouse were transferred to the Rio Claro courthouse, despite the fact that the latter also appeared to have extensive damage, LoopTT was told, with visible cracks on the walls, and holding docks for prisoners appearing unstable.

TTPSSWA President, Inspector Michael Seales, explained that members of his executive had visited the Rio Claro Magistrates’ Court earlier this week, following complaints and concerns raised by his membership.

He said attempts were made to secure a copy of the report, however, this task proved surprisingly difficult.

“The Vice President of the Association visited on Wednesday, and after making some observations, it is safe to say there is an issue. However, the extent of that issue is unknown, hence the attempts to secure the structural report to ensure that the building was safe. However, this document or its contents were not easily procurable,” Seales said.

And while Seales did not set a public timeframe for this document/information to be secured, he said that the next step would be contacting the Chief Magistrate and maybe even the Chief Justice.

“We are hopeful that things do not escalate that far, but we have a time frame which we think should be reasonable for this report or its contents to be secured. We are asking this because, while we represent the men and women of the police service, and the Association is here to seek out their best interests, this issue has potentially even far-reaching effects, as prisoners, their relatives, members of the public who work as staff, and even magistrates themselves may be at risk,” Seales said.



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