POLICE COMMISSIONER Gary Griffith meets with several interest groups and individuals on the issue of domestic violence.
A release from the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) stated that the meeting was to inform participants of the Gender-Based Violence Unit to be launched on Saturday.
Griffith said, “It will not be business as usual. We will be rolling out a massive public awareness campaign against domestic violence.
“Time has come for all citizens to be their neighbours’ keepers. They must no longer keep silent and allow someone to be killed. Time has come for people to speak out and report what they see. You will be saving a life. Don’t come and say afterwards what you knew. It may be too late.”
Participants spoke of the failure of the 999 system, the poor response of the police in the past, and the ridicule which victims of domestic violence endure at police stations, the release stated.
It added, “They also pointed out that perpetrators of these brutal acts have been served with protection orders, but there have been breaches and no follow-up by the police, resulting in fatalities.”
Griffith promised a change in the attitude and culture within the Police Service.
He said that police officers were trained by an international agency which has reduced domestic violence in New York.
Griffith said with the new system, there will be a spike in reports of domestic violence as more people will trust and have faith in the TTPS.
There was also a call for the establishment of a Civil Society Advisory Committee which will comprise various NGOs to assist in the development of the Gender-Based Violence Unit.