PRESIDENT of the Police Social and Welfare Association, Insp Anand Ramesar yesterday called for the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) to be shut down.
He said police have lost confidence in the organisation following a leak of sensitive information to an Opposition senator.
Responding to this however, PCA director Gillian Lucky said that Ramesar’s suggestions were not only extreme but also suggest that he (Ramesar) made a, “finding of fact without any evidence to support his allegations.”
Ramesar and his deputy, Insp Michael Sealy spoke during a press conference at the Police Welfare Association headquarters in Port of Spain.
Last Tuesday in the Senate during his contribution to the Finance Bill Senator Faris Al-Rawi referenced two reports, one from the PCA and the other from the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service which investigated the alleged existence of a new Flying Squad. The reports were exclusively reported in the Sunday Express (April 13). However the PCA in a press release issued Sunday denied giving the report to “any media house, media personnel or member of parliament.” It added that what Al-Rawi read out in the Senate contained inaccuracies which would have been recorded in the Hansard. The PCA also asked Al-Rawi to explain how he got the report. Al-Rawi has said in response, that it was “in his mailbox”.
Sealy described Al-Rawi’s access to these reports as a “breach in confidentiality that information of such a controversial nature was allegedly placed in the Senator’s mailbox”.
“So now we want to know who has oversight over the PCA and they need to suspend operations there until the breach has been discovered.”
He continued, “The PCA has been compromised and their director (Lucky) says she will investigate? So are we safe in terms of what information is in their hands?...so this is not just for the director to investigate but there needs to be some serious sanctions imposed on whoever caused that leak.”
Ramesar added, “We try to avoid having any political interference with regards to the operation of the TTPS and I am saying that the same principle must apply to the PCA.”
Lucky denied leaking the reports and said that, “My response is that the PCA has called for senator Faras Al-Rawi to indicate the means by which he came into possession of the two reports namely the PCA report and yes, there was also a report from the TTPS.
Lucky continued that, “Based on his allegations the logical extension of his suggestion is to shut down all the institutions and organisations including the TTPS which could be held responsible for the leak.”
Lucky added that, “The PCA will not lose sight of the most critical matter which is the determination of this matter which is the actions that will be taken by the DPP based on the content of both reports and at this stage I do not intend to go further in the matter.”