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'Abandoning post a criminal act'

NATIONAL Security Adviser to the Prime Minister Gary Griffith yesterday said any police officer who abandons his or her post, or fails to report for duty as part of a planned sick-out action later today is a criminal and should be treated as such.

Griffith said the role and function of police officers is to protect the law-abiding citizens from harm, and ensure their safety and security, and if an officer deliberately fails to perform his or her duty, "it also means that they are deliberately planning to put the lives of the Trinidad and Tobago citizens at risk".

"Anyone (police officer) who deliberately attempts to put the lives of any law-abiding citizen at risk, I would refer to them also as a criminal and if anyone does this, knowing the danger that the law-abiding citizens may encounter, then they should be treated as criminals as well and condemned as such," Griffith said.

Griffith, in a statement sent to the Express, was responding to imminent sick-out action, planned for today, by police officers across the country. The strike action is aimed at getting Government to increase its five per cent salary offer.

He described as very disappointing that officers would resort to such action, which placed the lives of citizens at risk.

"I do hope that good sense would prevail," Griffith said.

—Akile Simon

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