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PSC: Police reports must be on time

 THE Police Service Commission (PSC) chaired by Prof Ramesh Deosaran yesterday warned acting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams that delays of reports would no longer be tolerated.

Deosaran yesterday explained that the PSC requires specific reports from the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) to effectively fulfill its mandate of appraising the Police Commissioner and the three deputies.

These required reports have however not been given on time.

Deosaran yesterday told of a situation of a report that was due to the PSC in June last year but was supplied four months late. 

One of the reports that the PSC yesterday called on Williams to provide is that on the issue surrounding the “disturbing absenteeism” of police officers at court matters. 

Williams yesterday met with the PSC for about an hour at its head office at the corner of the Churchill-Roosevelt Highway and Pasea Main Road in Tunapuna.

“One of the things I can tell you was an area of concern was the timeliness of the reports that we have requested from the commissioner. We spoke to him about it and we indicated that—notwithstanding whatever internal difficulties, challenges he has—he needs to improve on that so there is a better flow of communication so we can have the information so we can do our job of assessing and report back to the public and we can do it based on hard data, information and statistical analysis,” PSC member Martin George said.

Deosaran said the PSC and especially its secretariat is dependent on the reports to fulfil its mandate.

“We have complained to him repeatedly and this morning we increased the seriousness of our concerns to suggest that it would implicate the appraisal we are empowered to exercise,” Deosaran said.

“The delays in supplying the commission with information can no longer be tolerated as it has been before,” Deosaran said.

The issue of police absenteeism in court matters was a report the PSC yesterday called on Williams to produce.

Deosaran described the absenteeism as a “grave injustice” to victims of crimes and the national community as a whole.

George said specific figures related to the level of absenteeism and the numbers of matters dismissed as a direct result of this absenteeism were needed.

George said this situation “impacts on the credibility and faith in the judicial system”.

“There is no point in detecting crime if at the end of the day when the prosecution comes up you are not there to give evidence and the accused walks free,” George said.

The issue of crime detection was also raised by the PSC.

Williams signalled his intention to start “beefing up” this country’s Crime Scene Investigation Unit as well as make changes to the Homicide Investigation Unit. 

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