PORT OF SPAIN – One hundred and fifty police officers from the rank of assistant commissioner of police to constable have been suspended from duty for varying criminal offences, ranging from murder to driving under the influence.
This figure was revealed yesterday by Acting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams, who attended the weekly police news briefing at the Police Administration Building, Port of Spain, during which he dealt specifically with reports of rogue officers committing acts of robbery.
Special Reserve Officer (SRP) Sean Joseph has been denied bail on a charge of robbing Chinese businessman Wei Hui Zhu of $406,000, an iPhone valued $7,000 and an FX Revolution air rifle valued $20,000, and before the robbery, he used personal violence towards Zhu on November 11 in Claxton Bay.
During the news briefing, reporters were also told other police officers allegedly involved have not been arrested although a video in the public domain showed more than one man in what appears to be police uniforms involved in the robbery.
Williams said these men may not have even been police officers.
Williams said the police will continue to “take a tough approach to any criminal conduct which is alleged against any police officer. The public is vesting trust in the Police Service and we must do nothing to undermine that trust”.
He further emphasised that “clear, decisive and timely action will be taken in every case to remove what we can describe as the rogue element from the Police Service”, as he explained changes to the heads of various divisions made within the last month as being another approach to fighting crime in the country.