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Griffith backs police, soldiers

Monday, June 23 2014

NATIONAL Security Minister Gary Griffith has reiterated his support for law enforcement officers who daily come under gunfire from the criminal element and also face criticism from sections of society when they meet such criminal violence with the requisite force.

In a release, Griffith re-emphasised his full support and backing for officers of the Police Service as well as members of the Defence Force, “who consistently put their lives in danger on a regular basis.”

The Minister of National Security is standing firm on the approach to fight fire with fire, the release stated. Griffith noted the Ministry will be employing “harsh measures” and adopting a zero tolerance to all individuals, gangs and groups who seek to engage law enforcement in exchanges of gunfire and intimidatory tactics.

Griffith added in the release that the Ministry will be adding to its arsenal “very soon” Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC) that will allow troops to enter high-risk hot zone areas and stabilise any threat or attack on law enforcement and law-abiding citizens.

The Minister, the release stated, reiterated that these are desperate times which call for desperate actions that are more firm and focused. He reminded law- abiding citizens that the Ministry and all of its Divisions and Services would not stand by and allow a small percent of criminals to keep the country under siege. The hard working officers of the TTPS and TTDF were commended by Griffith especially for putting their lives on the line daily, to ensure success in the fight against crime and contributing to the restoration of safety and security to the citizenry.

These officers and soldiers are required to work in extremely hostile conditions where they are viewed as the enemy by some and not as law enforcement authorities and the Minister of National Security has indicated he fully supports law enforcement officers responding to and utilising force as defined in Rules of Engagement, the release stated.

Griffith, the release added, also lamented the fact that when someone is shot there are no witnesses to assist officers and similarly when an officer is wounded in the line of duty, again there are no witnesses coming forward. However, whenever there is a case of law enforcement officers defending themselves against potential fatal engagements, there is no shortage of witnesses willing to come forward to place blame on officers.

“The Minister of National Security has firmly stated that the TTPS and all law enforcement officials will execute the full brunt of the law in accordance with the Laws of Trinidad and Tobago towards any individual or groups bent on destabilising the community and society. “Anyone found to be promoting public disorder or intimidation, especially in the acts of illegal protests and blocking of roadways, inclusive of burning debris that endangers lives and property will be treated with the full process and actions of the law,” the release warned.

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