Last update: 09-Dec-2013 11:24 pm
Monday, December 09, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Law body knocks cops’ PoS raids
The Law Association has condemned the action of the police in arresting over 100 east Port-of-Spain residents and releasing almost all of them without charge. In a press release yesterday, the association’s president, Seenath Jairam, SC, advised the police to act within legal parameters in the execution of their duties in future. He said: “We remind the police that this country is governed by the rule of law and it has been long established that the police have no right of detention or arrest unless they have reasonable suspicion of someone having committed an offence or an offence is being committed in the presence of the police.”
While acknowledging that the police have an “extremely difficult job,” he said they should act with restraint and equanimity. “Suspected offenders must be dealt with in accordance with the law and the police must be beyond reproach,” Jairam said. Following a resurgence of gang violence in east Port-of-Spain, which saw six people being murdered within 24 hours last week Wednesday, police conducted several raids in the area over the weekend.
Just over 100 people were arrested but only a handful were charged with drug possession while the remaining detainees were kept for questioning before they were eventually released earlier this week. Speaking at the weekly police press briefing on Wednesday, acting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams and other executive members confirmed that some of the detainees were held as part of investigations under the Anti-Gang Act. However, they said although most of the detainees were released they might be re-arrested in the future once sufficient evidence to charge them under the legislation was gathered.
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