Sunday 7 June, 2020

Top Cop: Security officers to act as extra eyes for TTPS

Amid concerns by some about Government's announcement of private security patrols across the country, Police Commissioner Gary Griffith says the arrangement will assist the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) in its efforts during the Stay at Home period.

Speaking with Loop News on Wednesday, Griffith stressed that the security officers will not be involved in law enforcement.

He explained that they will not be accompanied by police officers, but will patrol non-hotspot and residential areas.

Commissioner Griffith stated that the officers will not respond to 999 calls, neither will they be first responders.

"If they see something they will bring it to the attention of the police to take action.
So what they will be doing is to provide high visibility, providing a deterrent and to provide the extra eyes and ears. They are not to be involved in law enforcement. So if you want to put it as, they're going be the town criers to assist the police, that is the impact," he said.

The Top Cop stated that this initiative will now give the TTPS the ability to focus on hotspot areas.

He said the police intend to work with the security firms to provide a high visibility across the country.

"So whatever policy is given by the Government, our job is not to give a view to say that we think that it is going to be good, bad or indifferent. Having said that we intend to make the most of it. What we will be doing is working with them, having them report to the police station so we will know where they will be.

We will advise them where they need to go. This may be a value now where it can assist the police to be able to go into more hotspots, volatile areas-areas where persons are involved in breaching the regulations."

The Commissioner added that the officers will report to police stations across the country, where they will be briefed on which areas they need to patrol.

"They log in at the police stations when they commence duty and they log back out. The Divisions will brief them as to where they need to patrol, so we will know exactly where they are and what they are doing. So there will not be duplication between them and the Police Service."

On Tuesday, the National Security Ministry announced that it has decided to engage four private security firms to provide mobile security patrol services in various residential districts on a 24-hour basis throughout Trinidad during the period April 6 to May 5, in the first instance.

It clarified that the patrols being provided by the private security firms, have no additional powers outside of their normal powers as private security officers, performing private neighbourhood patrols.

The Ministry added that these patrols are being instituted after consultation with the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service and within all the parameters of the law.

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