GAVE BREAKDOWN: Christlyn Moore

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679 complaints: only one policeman fired

Justice Minister responds in Senate

By Ria Taitt Political Editor

Out of a total of 679 complaints against police officers which have been sent to the Commissioner of Police, only one officer has been fired.

This is according to figures provided by Justice Minister Christlyn Moore to the Senate on Tuesday, in response to a question from People's National Movement Senator Pennelope Beckles.

Moore was asked how many reports had been made against police officers for the period January 2009 to July 2012.

The Minister said there was no duly constituted Police Complaints Authority (PCA) between January 2009 and December 28, 2010. She said under arrangements made by the Minister of National Security and later the Minister of Justice, all complaints made against police officers were forwarded to the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) for investigation during this period.

Moore said that, between January 2009 and December 28, 2010, there were 361 complaints which were forward to the TTPS. She said on the appointment of the director and deputy director of the Police Complaints Authority, complaints were sent to the PCA. From December 29, 2010 to July 2012, 887 complaints were made to the PCA, Moore said.

She said from December 29 to July 31, 2012, out of the 887 complaints made to the PCA, 318 were sent to the Commissioner of Police for his action, 527 were kept within the PCA for its action, and 42 were deemed to be non-actionable.

She noted that the PCA could not discipline officers. However, she said, the office of the CoP had advised that of the 679 complaints forwarded to the TTPS, 352 police officers have been warned, disciplined or fired, or the cases were dismissed against them.

The breakdown, she said, was as follows: in 2009--two officers were reprimanded, four were fined and one was fired and 12 matters were dismissed; in 2010--six officers were reprimanded, 18 were fined, none fired and 27 matters dismissed; in 2011--six were reprimanded, 13 fined and 25 matters were dismissed; in 2012--four officers were reprimanded, five were fined and 15 matters dismissed.

These figures add up to 352.

She said the remaining complaints are either still being investigated or have been deemed to be non-actionable.

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