Place strategy

Measures in place to prevent the return of weapons to criminals

New



McDonald’s Jacob –

Acting Police Commissioner McDonald Jacob responded to concerns that weapons seized by police were being returned to criminals, describing it as a “long held thought” as new measures were in place to prevent this.

A Strategic Services Agency (SSA) report tabled in the Senate last Tuesday highlighted concerns about guns being returned to criminals by rogue police officers.

Responding to questions from Newsday after a ceremony at the Maison d’Angostura, Laventille, on Friday, Jacob said the report presented by the SSA was completed in 2020, adding that measures had been “significantly strengthened” to prevent this from happening. produce.

He noted that among the measures included a rigid chain of custody for officers seizing illegal weapons and pointed out that improved technology at the Special Evidence Recovery Unit (SERU), Cumuto, would be able to detect if a weapon seized by the police was seized a second time.

“As you may know, we have set up a one stop shop at our Special Evidence Recovery Unit (SERU) in Cumuto and we also have guidelines for police officers through a departmental order that the firearms have to be brought there within a particular time frame. Now with the opening of our ballistics department, if a firearm came and came back, they (the officers) would be able to identify it immediately and the officers would be held responsible.

“So the issue of recycling illegal firearms, I would say is a long-standing consideration because of the current design of the system.”

National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds said he had also been assured by Jacob that there were adequate protocols in place to prevent the weapons from being returned to criminals.

Referring to an incident in which members of the US-based Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) were arrested and charged with drug trafficking, Hinds said that if police and other members of the protective services cooperate with criminals, they would also suffer the consequences.

“Whenever a human being, including those on the application platform, behaves in a way that can be considered and proven to be criminal, they will also be held to account.”

On Tuesday, the Prime Minister asked Jacob to verify under what authority a clause that protected the country’s interests was removed from a billion-dollar contract at Point Fortin on September 4, 2015, the last business day before the general election of September 7, 2015.

Dr Rowley claimed the state now owed $852 million to Construtora OAS, the original contractor for the Point Fortin Freeway, following the removal of the clause.

When asked if the matter would be investigated, Jacob replied: “All I can tell you is that once the reports are brought to our attention and it is there will be a measure of the alleged criminality, we will investigate.”

On Thursday, it was reported that UNC would file a privileges motion against Hinds following comments made in response to Chaguanas East MP Vandana Mohit, where he described a report she co-authored as ” almost naked”.

Responding to the motion, Hinds said it was not the first time a motion of privileges had been brought against an MP.