Last update: 13-Dec-2013 3:20 am
Friday, December 13, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Lucky seeks more teeth for PCA investigators
The Police Complaints Authority (PCA) has forwarded recommendations to Attorney General Anand Ramlogan for amendments to the Police Complaints Authority Act, the PCA’s director, Gillian Lucky, says. Lucky, who made the statement via phone, said the recommendations were sent to the AG’s office on Wednesday morning. “The PCA has examined its Act very closely and, upon request, have forward recommendations for amendments to the office of the Attorney General,” she said.
Although not disclosing the full recommendations made, Lucky said PCA investigators need “to be clothed with the power, privileges, immunities and authority of police officers.” In discussions last Thursday between Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley, stronger legislation for the authority was discussed, among other initiatives, as a joint effort was sought to address the rising crime issue.
Two teams appointed by the Opposition and the Government met again yesterday for further talks. Lucky said the authority found it “heartening and reassuring to know it has been recognised that the PCA has a fundamental role to play in the fight against crime.”
“It is absurd to give persons the statutory mandate to investigate police officers who have committed criminal offences or are involved in police corruption and not give those investigating these matters the requisite protection necessary to effectively and efficiently fulfill their mandate,” she said. Lucky said the current PCA, which has been in operation for a little over two-and-a-half years, had been able to assess what was required in order to enable the authority to operate at an optimum.
“The authority remains committed to meet with all relevant stakeholders who are interested in meaningful discussion as to the amendments that ought to be made to the Act in order to strengthen the PCA,” she said. Lucky has been on record since last March, requesting stronger legislation and similar investigative powers and authority to that of police officers for the authority to carry out its mandate fully.
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