Last update: 24-Jul-2014 10:21 pm
Thursday, July 24, 2014
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Ramesar on arms, drugs find in police station: Don’t transfer rogue officers, jail them
Rogue police officers responsible for the drugs and ammunition found at the Fyzabad Police Station must be prosecuted and not just transferred. So said Police Social Welfare Association president, Insp Anand Ramesar, yesterday as he responded to the discovery on Monday of marijuana, cocaine and several rounds of ammunition at the station. The illegal items were found in the ceiling above the male bathroom and inside a filing cabinet in the dormitory at the station.
Ramesar said the time had come for acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams to stop transferring officers when wrongdoings were discovered and to punish them. Speaking with the T&T Guardian in a telephone interview yesterday, he said the discovery was a “great disappointment” to the association and members of the Police Service and Williams must not let it go unpunished.
He added: “Too often we see that there is a blanket and general approach by way of transferring police officers and lengthy investigations that breaks the threshold of reasonable memory. “It is important that investigations assist and perpetrators of these behaviour are prosecuted. It goes without saying that the occurrence of these acts is an indictment on the Police Service.”
On Wednesday Insp Anderson Pariman, head of the Fyzabad Police Station, and senior officers searched the male dormitory and male bathroom. In the dormitory filing cabinet, packets containing 560 grammes of marijuana and 36 grammes of cocaine were discovered. During the search ceiling tiles were removed in the male bathroom and 130 rounds of ammunition of varying calibres were discovered. Yesterday police sources said investigations into the discovery were at a sensitive stage.
Police Complaints Authority (PCA) director Gillian Lucky has expressed displeasure over acting CoP Stephen Williams’s failure to tell the PCA about the discovery at Fyzabad. She said the PCA would be initiating an investigation into the find. Lucky, speaking with the T&T Guardian yesterday, said she was concerned that the PCA only heard of it via media reports rather than the proper channels, as required by law, contacting the authority.
She added: “This is a very serious matter. It is not the first time that an allegation has been made with respect to impropriety in a police station, and I have put through a call to the Commissioner of Police. “According to the PCA legislation, the PCA is supposed to be informed in a timely manner and in accordance with the law, in writing, about incidents such as these.” Lucky said up to the time of the interview with the T&T Guardian at 3 pm she had not received any formal correspondence from Williams on the matter.
“It is of grave concern to the PCA that once again, in a very important matter in which there are very serious allegations of serious breaches, the PCA has to depend on a media report in order to be informed, rather than the correct channel informing the PCA. I feel very strongly about that,” she added.