Police Complaints Authority for Tobago
By JULIEN NEAVES Monday, January 20 2014
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SNELL VISITS NOC: United Kingdom High Commissioner to TT, Arthur Snell recently paid a courtesy visit to the National Operations Centre (NOC) at Know...
IN TWO weeks, the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) will open its first office in Tobago as the authority seeks to provide equal service to the sister isle, PCA director Gillian Lucky says.
Speaking with Newsday yesterday, Lucky confirmed she met last Friday with Tobago House of Assembly chief secretary Orville London in Tobago. She noted from February 3, the PCA will have an office at Old Milford Rd, Crown Point, Tobago.
She said with the PCA now having a permanent presence in Tobago it was important to meet with London for a courtesy visit. During the visit she informed London the PCA would be having an interim office or “turn key office”, noting that under current legislation the Government has to provide the offices of the PCA.
She explained the PCA is an independent office and is not subject to the control of anyone, but she believes it was important to let London know they were coming to Tobago and where the office would be located. She also spoke to him about the roles and functions of the PCA.
She recalled, “Mr London indicated that he was very happy that...the PCA felt the need to establish a presence in Tobago and he went so far as to say that he wished other organisations and institutions would do likewise in terms of servicing the people of Tobago.
“Because we both agreed that it is not only unfair but it is also at a level of expense when people from Tobago have to come to Trinidad to be able to get a service.”
She noted the PCA, since it was established on December 29, 2010, has been servicing Tobago previously in terms of sending across investigators and taking complaints via email, telephone or by Tobagonians coming to Trinidad.
“We recognised that that could not continue because Tobago deserves equal service in terms of having a presence in the island,” she said.
Lucky noted, while there was no empirical evidence, it is possible there are people who have complaints against police officers in Tobago but have not been coming forward because they lack phone and computer access, or due to the expense of taking the ferry or flying to Trinidad.
After her meeting with London she met with the highest ranking officer in Tobago, Acting Assistant Commissioner of Police Brian Headley, and spoke with a group of police officers on the role and function of the PCA.