Reports of rogue cops ‘hurt’ CoP
Monday, August 26 2013
Acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams yesterday said the investigations into allegations of two junior officers leaking information to gang leaders and gang members were continuing at a careful and meticulous pace.
Williams responded to issues raised in a Sunday Newsday exclusive report that two junior policemen assigned to an elite unit within the Port-of-Spain Division, were identified as being central to a probe into allegations that police officers have been leaking information to gang leaders and gang members in crime hot spots in East Port-of-Spain, Laventille and Beetham Gardens.
On Friday, the two men were transferred out of the unit — one was sent to the Western Division and the other to the Northern Division — pending the outcome of a probe. In a radio interview, Williams yesterday said the investigators had to be careful with such allegations as any “knee jerk” reactions of charging the men or even suspending or dismissing them. He said the officers could easily take legal action against the Police Service, therefore investigators had to be meticulous and gather enough evidence which could lead to successful prosecutions. However, whether the two men were guilty of such allegations or not, Williams said he was aware of corruption in the Police Service, and such news hurts him deeply.
“I feel hurt. Throughout the history of the Police Service we have had officers who are corrupt. What we would seek to do, as one of the means of limiting this, is to tighten up the system of recruitment, so on the face of it you do not bring in the bad eggs into the service from point of recruitment,” Williams said. “These bad eggs ruin the reputation for the rest of the officers who are indeed hard-working, honest, and exemplary in every other way,” Williams said. The probe comes on the heels of a police exercise in East Port-of-Spain last Sunday which resulted in the detention of 90 persons, but which saw no arms or ammunition being found, nor any large quantity of drugs. A second exercise took place last Wednesday at the Beetham in which 17 persons were arrested, but again there was no major gun or drug haul. Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of crime, Glen Hackett, has since revealed the Police Service was investigating information that officers were leaking information to criminals, such as the where and the time when raids and searches were to be carried out.
Attorney General Anand Ramlogan yesterday said he was pleased to learn that police officers are being investigated for allegedly leaking information to criminals. Referring to the East Port-of-Spain raid, Ramlogan said it was “astonishing” that the police went into the area and “they cannot seem to find the guns.”
“Something is terribly wrong. We cannot continue to do the same thing with the same people and expect different results. It is clear that someone is compromising the integrity of the police operation when they are making these raids.
He too said there are many good”police officers who are being undermined by a few rogue elements.