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Police launch probe into racial placards
Acting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams has ordered an immediate investigation into the display of racial placards last Friday outside the Parliament building. ASP Joanne Archie, speaking at the weekly police briefing at Police Administration Building, Port-of-Spain, said a top officer of the Port-of-Spain Division had been assigned the task.
The probe comes the day after Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley called on Williams to launch an investigation. Rowley, at a press conference on Wednesday, said the protesters were in violation of the Sedition Act. The incident took place on the same day members of the Joint Trade Union Movement, People’s National Movement and other civil society groups marched through the streets of Port-of-Spain, calling on the Government to call a fresh election.
In another matter, Williams, speaking at the Indian Arrival Day celebrations, also at the Police Administration Building, said he had given ACP Deodath Dulalchan an additional month to complete his investigation into how a confidential report on the existence of a revamped Flying Squad within the Police Service became public. Williams had given Dulalchan up to May 23 to complete the investigation.
Dulalchan had been given one month to complete a report on the investigation to determine if a crime was committed following the leak of the Police Complaints Authority’s (PCA) Flying Squad report. People’s National Movement PRO Senator Faris Al-Rawi first told of the report in Parliament on April 8. It was done after the PCA investigated the formation of a New Flying Squad, which allegedly operated under the Ministry of National Security.
In an interview with reporters, Williams said he was doing his job to the best of his ability and better than some of his predecessors. “I am doing my job. You know one thing I can tell T&T is that I am doing my job and doing it to the best of my ability and better than most people.
“If you look at the history of the Police Service everything that hasn’t been done... I can’t make magic and turn a Police Service (around) overnight where people haven’t done it over years.
“What you need to recognise there is a consistent trending improvement we have recovered close to 300 firearms for 2014 due to the hard work of the police,” Williams said. He said by Monday the Police Service would be training 300 more recruits. making this year’s enlistment one of the largest in years. He added that 208 recruits would pass out on June 12 to assist in the fighting of crime.
“My job is to ensure we get the guns out of the hands of the criminal. Police have been doing that and doing it exceptionally. Never in the history of the Police Service in less than five months we have recovered so many firearms,” Williams said.
Asked about the porous borders Williams quipped: “Is the police responsible for the borders? The Police Service is not responsible for the airport, seaport and the marine ports. All the time nobody is questioning anyone else besides the Police Service.
“The Police Service is responsible with what is happening in the country and we are dealing with it. We are protecting and serving to the best of our ability; all the resources that are to our disposal we are using it to make T&T a safer place.”