Former police commissioner Gary Griffith says if the acting Commissioner of Police Mc Donald Jacob had been using the technology he left behind, the deadly Pennywise robbery would not have happened.
In a press release yesterday, Griffith blamed his successor for dismantling SORT and the T&T Police Service’s social media unit, saying these two units could have prevented the robbery.
On Monday afternoon, three security officers leaving the Pennywise Plaza in La Romain were accosted by five armed men. The bandits opened fire, killing two of the officers and seriously wounding the third. Four of the six men were killed in a shootout with police within hours of the robbery.
Yesterday, Griffith said Jacob needs to use predictive policing to prevent such crimes.
“In this particular incident, the media stated that the weapons used in this crime were brandished about on social media, and even comments alluding to the plans to commit such crime were made,” he said.
But Griffith said with SORT and the social media unit “virtually non-existent,” the technology to detect and flag such behaviour on social media, Jacob has fallen back on “old-school” policing.”
“This is one of the main reasons why there were 346 murders in my last year in office, and under Jacob it has been over 240 murders more.
“By using the technology provided to predict crime before it took place, and having a specific unit to utilise such equipment and monitor social media, it all led to preventing the crime before it took place,” Griffith said.