Concerned law body writes cops
Mass arrests in East PoS
THE Law Association of Trinidad and Tobago has condemned the “mass” round-up of residents in East Port of Spain by the police, the majority of whom were released without charges.
This country is governed by the rule of law, the association reminded the Police Service yesterday.
In response to a spike in murders in East Port of Spain last week, police officers took some 101 residents from the area into custody.
Eventually, 59 of them were released without charges.
“The Law Association of Trinidad and Tobago condemns the conduct of the police (in the widely publicised news) regarding the alleged mass taking into custody of several persons from East Port of Spain and their subsequent release without charge,” a release signed by the association’s president, Seenath Jairam, stated yesterday.
“While the reports are conflicting as to the precise number of persons ‘detained’, it would appear that approximately 59 were released without charge and approximately 42 are still ‘detained’,” the release stated.
The association issued a reminder to the police about the parameters in which they must operate despite all the challenges faced.
“We remind the police that this country is governed by the rule of law and it has been long established that the police have no right of detention or arrest unless they have reasonable suspicion of someone having committed an offence or an offence is being committed in the presence of the police,” the release stated.
‘’We acknowledge that the police have an extremely difficult job, but must act within the parameters of the law and with restraint and equanimity in the execution of their responsibilities,” it added.
The Law Association also urged the Police Service to adhere to “responsible policing”.
“Suspected offenders must be dealt with in accordance with the law and the police must be beyond reproach. We therefore urge the police to adhere to responsible policing and to execute its duties in accordance with the law,” the release stated.