Thursday 24 September, 2020

Gary rubbishes claims of TTPS ‘taking’ ballot boxes

Commissioner of Police, Gary Griffith

Commissioner of Police, Gary Griffith

After rumours on social media surfaced on Tuesday alleged that officers of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) took ballot boxes from a polling station in Tunapuna, the Commissioner is coming to his officers’ defense. 

Referencing a few allegations brought on by political parties that the police were attempting to aid specific other parties, Commissioner Gary Griffith reminded the public that the TTPS is an independent organisation. 

“The Trinidad and Tobago Police Service is an independent organisation; we are not here to be biased, to support or to directly align ourselves or to discredit or to target any politician, any political party or any citizen of this country,” he implored. 

As far as the TTPS’ involvement in the ballot recount process, Commissioner Griffith says there were clear guidelines that all officers were made to adhere to. 

“What we did, obviously, was we got police officers external from those marginal constituencies to provide support in that area to take away that perception and accusation, wrongfully of course, of police officers being involved in some sort of clandestine operation,” he said. 

Deputy Commissioner of Police Operations, Jayson Forde shed some light on the accusations and the curiousness of the circumstances surrounding them. He said the officers were accused of taking the ballot boxes and hiding them in the police station after the polls were closed. 

“The entire Tunapuna Police Station and its surroundings; the entire compound was searched thoroughly and guess what that search turned up, nothing, nada, zilch. No boxes were found. But more than that, we also had a conversation with the Returning Officer for the Returning Centre that the allegation was made against and lo and behold, the Returning Officer said that all ballot boxes were accounted for,” he relayed. 

Forde also assured that a thorough investigation into the dumping of polling cards on Pinto Road in Arima is ongoing. He says that the Trinidad and Tobago Postal Service and the Election and Boundaries Commission are being engaged. 

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