Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith. Azlan Mohammed/AZP News
COMMISSIONER of Police Gary Griffith says that the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) is an independent body and he objects strongly to a statement that the Government is seeking to arrest an Opposition members before the 2020 general elections.
A media release stated that Griffith “strongly objects to statements made by a member of a political party that Government is seeking to arrest Opposition Members of Parliament before the 2020 General Elections.
“The allegations of the Opposition were reported in one of the daily newspapers today, January 22nd, 2020,” the release stated.
Griffith stressed that the TTPS was an independent body, insulated from politics.
The release stated that the TTPS does not operate by the “whims and fancies” of the Government.
It stated that when allegations are made whether they are in politics or otherwise, the police service conducts an independent investigation based on the evidence before it.
Commissioner Griffith said based on the evidence and the advice of the Director of Public Prosecutions, the TTPS will determine the next step.
He said, “When a Government minister was arrested and charged in 2019 that was based on evidence adduced and investigations conducted by the TTPS. I did not hear anyone insinuate politics in that matter. It does not matter who you are. When allegations are made, we investigate and later charge.”
The release stated, “The Commissioner of Police hopes that if any member of a political party is arrested and based on the evidence, that person is charged, the mantra won’t be that the charge was laid on the directions of another political party.
“That is totally unacceptable. If any charges are laid, it will be done as a result of evidence adduced and advice given by the DPP. There will be no witch hunt,” the CoP added.
“So the Police knocking on the door of a Government Minister at four in the morning was good police work but if the Opposition operatives are to face police action, it is about the coming elections. No one is above the law. Let the law take its course and let our independent TTPS do its job without being unfairly tarnished by the Opposition. The wheels of justice may turn slow, but they do turn.
“Commissioner Griffith reminds all political parties to be wary of unfounded and malicious allegations being made in the run-up to the general elections. He said such allegations, against an independent body like the TTPS, can do irreparable harm to the organization and the country.
“Since becoming Commissioner of Police in August 2018, Commissioner Griffith has brought to an end two outstanding investigations – Emailgate and the plant-like substance found at the home of Opposition Leader, Kamla Persad-Bissessar.
According to the CoP, those matters were investigated by the independent TTPS before they were brought to a close.”