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Jack can’t tell us what to do, says acting CoP (with CNC3 video)
Acting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams has denied receiving any instructions from National Security Minister Jack Warner to stop giving out crime figures. Repeatedly denying such claims yesterday, Williams said: “I want to assure the public that I have received no instructions from the Minister of National Security, which I heard referenced to as a gag on the police speaking on issues relating to crime and murders.
“I received no instructions from the minister on that and it is not a matter which the minister has authority to instruct the Commissioner of Police on. “I am making it clear, hoping that it would be crystal clear that I have received no such instructions.” Addressing reporters during the weekly media briefing at the Police Administration Building, Port-of-Spain, Williams said concerns were brought to his attention after Warner’s statements in the Parliament on Tuesday.
The acting top cop said he met with Warner around 2 pm on Tuesday, during which the minister “shared some concerns around the issue of dissemination of information on murders by the Police Service.” Refusing to divulge details of the private and confidential meeting, Williams said it would be “improper” of him to make public what was discussed.
Reiterating that “the minister has no authority to issue instructions to the Police Service on an operational issue,” Williams added: “We in the Police Service have not taken any position to refuse to disseminate information to the public. We are under a legal obligation to provide statistics to the public and we will fulfil that legal obligation.”
Asked if that information had been communicated to Warner or if the minister had overstepped his bounds, Williams said: “The minister is responsible for giving policy directives to the Police Service, along with the Government, and all the policy directions he has given we will in fact be complying with those policy directions.
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