Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 5th 2015 Contents A7
Friday, June 5, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
6 Jaggernauth Trace,
Don Migel Ext. Rd.,
SATURDAY 13th JUNE 2015 8 am to 2 pm SAN JUAN BRANCH ONLY
JENSEN LA VENDE
Police Complaints Author-
ity director David West is
appealing to victims of police
abuse not to publicise their
ordeal in the media and
instead come discreetly to the
PCA and lodge a complaint,
so that the officers involved
will be none the wiser that
they are being investigated.
West made the appeal dur-
ing a PCA town meeting at
the Santa Cruz Fire Station
on Wednesday night.
Present at the meeting was
Jerome Phyars, the fireman
who was allegedly beaten by
police officers outside a bar
on Monday and later charged
with resisting arrest and
West told Phyars and his
Muhammed that they should
have come to the PCA instead
of going to Ian Alleyne s
Crime Watch programme on
Muhammed said that he
went to the Crime Watch host
so that the incident could be
put in the spotlight and not
be swept under the rug.
Muhammed, 33, suffered
injuries to his left eye, wind-
pipe and lower back, while his
sister Atiya, 27, who tried to
intervene when her brother
was being assaulted, was
choked, cuffed and kicked
before being dragged on the
Muhammed told the gath-
ering that his sister was still
hospitalised as she had not
yet stopped bleeding.
Phyars, 29, suffered injuries
to his left eye, face, right arm
back and windpipe while
another man who was not
arrested, Bradley Caesar, 27,
is partially deaf in the left ear
after allegedly being slapped
by one of the lawmen.
West had earlier told those
gathered, including MP for St
Ann s East, Joanne Thomas,
that his team did a survey in
the Santa Cruz area. He said
of 71 people who had
responded, 30 per cent of
them said they had a negative
outlook of the police.
He emphasised that the
police are not trusted and that
the PCA was an independent
body which does not answer
to or have within its staff
"We don t fear anyone, we
have your back and we will
do the best for you... I was
appalled when I saw that
video of the fireman being
abused," West said as he urged
the crowd to come to them
with any serious offence
against a police officer.
West said many people
refuse to report incidents of
police misbehaviour as they
are fearful of further victim-
isation, inaction by police offi-
cers, who they saw as being
supporters of their colleagues,
or do not want any further
conflict with the police.
26 cases forward to CoP
He added one of the issues
that land police in trouble was
the "back door" intake of
Special Reserve Police (SRP)
officers into the police service.
West said police officers
took six months to train while
the SRPs took six weeks and
therefore they are not properly
This, he said, has been
addressed by acting Police
Williams, who has since stopped the recruiting
of SRPs. West said officers needed training in
how to deal with mentally ill people as well as
the physically challenged.
West said for the year the PCA had sent 26
cases to the Commissioner of Police and have
closed 200 files.
He added that they were trying to clear a back-
log and begin investigating matters from 2014
He told the crowd that his team of investigators
all had a background in investigative work, many
of them were retired police officers and assured
them that all complaints are treated with con-
He added that the PCA will also soon engage
in training police officers in how to eradicate
police corruption and how to treat with the pub-
lic.Before the night was over, Phyars told the crowd
about the beating he allegedly suffered at the
hands of police officers.
He said his son always wanted to be a police
officer but after seeing his father on video being
assaulted he had changed his mind.
Phyars and Muhammed both said that they
thought the PCA was another arm of the police
service and were skeptical to lodge a complaint
with them as "police is for police."
After being assured that the PCA was not an
affiliate of the police service, the men made an
official report to the PCA at the end of the meet-
West tells public at PCA town meeting
Come to us first with complaints
President of the Contractors and General
Workers Trade Union (CGWTU), Ainsley
Matthews, says another breakdown in wage
negotiations between the union and Lake
Asphalt of T&T (LATT) may lead to more
industrial action by workers today.
Matthews said despite meeting five times
thus far, the two parties have not been able to
come to a settlement.
The latest meeting took place at the Cantona
Restaurant, Cross Crossing San Fernando, on
Wednesday between the union and the two rep-
resentatives of LATT.
"The company is offering 11 per cent and the
union wants 20 per cent," said Matthews.
"They said that is the position of the Chief
Personnel Officer (CPO) Stephanie Lewis but
we are saying that the CPO is not in keeping
with percentage offered in other negotiations.
"We firmly believe when we take this news
to the workers on Friday (today), they may take
action to their satisfaction, they most likely
will be taking industrial action."
Last week workers engaged in work to rule
action and they also held lunchtime protests
in the past month, threatening to cripple bitu-
men and asphalt exports if their demands were
Matthews said the company has also failed
to make an offer on heat and shift allowances.
"All of that is aggravating the situation. We
are calling on the powers that be to intervene
and get the CPO to make realistic proposals."
The two parties are scheduled to meet again
in two weeks.
Fire officer Jerome Phyars relates his beating at the hands of the police as PCA Director David West
and MP for St Ann's East Joanne Thomas look on during Wednesday's town meeting.
PHOTO: JENSEN LA VENDE
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