Last update: 25-Jul-2014 6:59 am
Friday, July 25, 2014
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Griffith wants probe into police breach
National Security Minister Gary Griffith has written to both the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) and the Commissioner of Police, seeking their joint investigation into a breach of confidentiality at the Maraval Police Station. Griffith’s letters were sent early yesterday morning after a newspaper reported information from a police officer that both Griffith and his wife, Congress of the People (COP) deputy chairman Nicole Dyer-Griffith, were licensed firearm holders.
In a telephone interview yesterday, Griffith said the issue of a breach of confidentiality was a “serious one.” “It is a matter that needs to investigated urgently,” Griffith said. Griffith said police are not supposed to reveal the identity of firearms owners to the public. “It has nothing to do with me being a minister. The public needs to be protected from these rogue elements that breach the basic trust people have in the Police Service,” Griffith said.
Griffith did not know who divulged the sensitive information and said that he did not need to know. “That is why I am calling on the PCA and the Commissioner of Police to investigate. They have to get to the bottom of this,” he said. Griffith said such information puts his wife at risk. “People are now aware that she has a firearm. It could lead to the criminal element targeting her for it. This is a serious issue,” he said. “Certain police officers either lack the training or the professionalism and this needs to be addressed,” Griffith said.
Ramesar agrees with Griffith
President of the Police Social and Welfare Association of T&T, Sgt Anand Ramesar, agreed with Griffith. In a subsequent telephone interview, Ramesar said the Commissioner of Police must investigate such breaches of confidentiality. “It is alarming, to say the least. The information of who is the holder of a licensed firearm is one of confidentiality. Such information must never leave the police station,” Ramesar said. He said the association fully supported the minister’s call for a thorough investigation into the information breach.