Police Commissioner Gary Griffith
By Prior Beharry
THE approval rating of Police Commissioner Gary Griffith is high.
According to a survey commissioned by the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS), 88% believe that Griffith has a strong visibility. The highest agreement (96%) came from people between the ages of 55 to 64.
The survey was commissioned by the TTPS and not the Police Service Commission as reported in the Trinidad Guardian on Thursday. The commission issued a release that same day to state that it conducted two surveys of the TTPS annually.
These are, the Public Trust, Confidence and Satisfaction Survey of the TTPS. This survey took place over the period October 14 to November 4 2020, and secondly, the Employee Satisfaction Survey for members of the TTPS, conducted from Monday, 12 October 12, to October 30, 2020.
The release stated that in-house resources were used to undertake these surveys and the commission “adheres to the principle that the performance appraisal of the commissioner of police is confidential and must be guarded from inappropriate disclosure.”
Findings of the survey commissioned by the TTPS were released at the media briefing at police headquarters in Port-of-Spain on Thursday.
The survey was done by Akilah Procope, an international research consultant.
Two surveys were done – one on the police commissioner and other on the TTPS.
Griffith’s survey was conducted between January 23 and 30, 2021.
It was done via random sampling and 1,341 adults over 18 years in T&T participated.
The results were presented at the press briefing by research consultant Keel County.
It estimated a margin of error of +/-2.3% at the 95% level of confidence.
Women outnumbered men by about two to one in taking the survey. Sixty-five percent of the respondents were women and 35% men.
The majority of those surveyed were from North Trinidad – 34%. While 30% were from South, 18% the East, 16% Central and 2% from Tobago.
In the past 12 months, 69% of those surveyed believed that the leadership of Griffith contributed to the reduction on crime.
The majority of respondents 77% agree that the commissioner leads by example.
Sixty-seven percent agree that he represents the interest of the average person, 76% agree that he is accessible and 69% agree that he is independent.
In the other survey on the TTPS, police officers were assessed on professionalism, visibility, competence, courteousness and responsiveness.
The overall approval rating was 59%.
Their highest rating came from their visibility (64%).
Policemen also scored high in professionalism – 56 %.
The TTPS scored under 50 % in the fields of competence (46 %), courteousness (49 %) and responsiveness (40 %).
Speaking to the media after the presentation of the results, Griffith said he would exchange his rating with that of the TTPS.
But he noted that in many countries the approval rating of the police service would be between 14% to 25%.
He said, “We are increasing. We have made mistakes, but we will learn from our mistakes. That is the reason we have these polls.”
Griffith said, “Unfortunately we get blamed for everything. If the West Indies lose a Test match the TTPS gets the blame.”
He said he has held discussions with National Security Minister under whose ministry the 999 system falls.
Griffith said, “In this situation the 999 is not under the TTPS, so if we have an ineffective 999 system and calls are being put on hold for 20 to 30 minutes and there is no response, we get blamed.”
Watch an excerpt of Griffith’s interview with the media on Thursday below: