Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) head, Snr Supt Roger Alexander, says while the police had a responsibility to speak with people of all backgrounds, their duty is not to facilitate any truce between warring gangs.
He made the comment in response to a media report that police were in the process of brokering a truce between the Sixx and Seven gangs in east Port-of-Spain.
The report noted that the peace talks came in the aftermath of a series of murders and shootings in and around the capital city.
According to the report, these discussions involved the IATF.
Contacted for comment yesterday, however, Alexander dismissed the report, noting that the police did not provide incentives for criminals to stop committing crimes.
“To say that we would have negotiated or facilitated some truce talks, I think that is someone with a high imagination,” Alexander said.
“No police officer will be willing to do that because it is not what we do. No Commissioner, not the one I know. Not Mrs Erla Harewood-Christopher, not the Deputy Commissioner Mr (Curt) Simon, would support that behaviour.”
Alexander added that the role of the police was to dismantle gangs and disrupt their activities.
He said it was more plausible for police officers to interview suspected gang members to understand what led to the uptick in violence, but stressed that this would not count as a “negotiation”.
“Nothing is wrong if people call on police officers to have a conversation with them. When you interview these sources, they will have things to say. We will talk to anybody that we believe information can come from to assist in matters of concern,” he added.
The IATF is an operational unit of the police that works closely with the regiment for patrols and other anti-crime exercises. They cover several areas in east Port-of-Spain, including Sea Lots, the Beetham and Laventille.
On Sunday, the head of the IATF assured calm would return to the capital city despite the wave of gang violence now prevailing.