Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 3rd 2015 Contents GEISHA KOWLESSAR
Acting Police Commissioner Stephen
Williams, whose post was recently described
by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley as a "ten
days" given the number of times the top
cop has been mandated to act, says he wants
the job and if given the opportunity will
apply for it.
He made the comment during an interview
on i95FM yesterday, while at the same time
noting that his focus was not on a substantive
appointment but rather on contributing to
the country and making a difference.
Both Rowley and National Security Minister
Edmund Dillon have promised to revisit the
legislation on the appointment of a police
commissioner with a view to appointing
someone permanently to the position.
Commenting on this prospect, Williams,
who was given his sixth acting appointment
in July this year and has been functioning in
the position since 2012, said, "To put it in
simple language, if the position is publicised,
I will apply and I will compete like anybody
else for the job."
He admitted, however, that acting in the
position for such a long period had taken a
toll on him.
"I am human and it will impact on you,
but in order to manage yourself I focus on
the issue, not on the substantive appointment
as commissioner of police. I am assigned the
responsibility of leading the police service
and that is what I am focused on."
On whether the role of commissioner
entailed a lot of personal responsibility,
Williams described the T&T Police Service
as a "mega organisation" which comprised
"With that you have a support structure
and they have responsibilities to fulfil. So
in that context you have to understand what
can I do when you have an assistant com-
missioner or a deputy commissioner...I would
have to get an update from them to account
for a particular matter when it is raised,"
He said in the Dana Seetahal murder
probe, for instance, his role was to ensure
his officers had the necessary tools so as to
bring the case to prosecution.
"Even the deputy commissioners...they
don t investigate those matters. They take
responsibility for overseeing them," Williams
Regarding the recent transfer of Central
Division Senior Superintendent Johnny Abra-
ham to the Port-of-Spain Division, Williams
said transfers were the norm in the organ-
isation and took place every month.
Also transferred were Senior Superin-
tendent Patsy Joseph and Superintendent
Johnny Phaloo of the South Western Division.
They have been reassigned to the Western
and North Eastern Divisions, respectively.
(See page A5).
He lauded the manifesto of the People s
National Movement administration, saying
he was very heartened by its crime , espe-
cially the border protection plan.
Regarding whether they would consider
a gun amnesty to curb the spiralling murder
rate, he said, "A gun amnesty is not under
the control of the commissioner but the
evidence across the globe is that it has not
He said 477 illegal firearms and more
than 6,000 rounds of illegal ammunition
were taken off the streets so far this year.
Minimum wage still to be reviewed --- McLeod News --- Page A6
Saturday, October 3, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Acting Commissioner of Police Stephen
Williams has confirmed that 50 murders were
recorded last month, making September the
most violent month for 2015.
He attributed the spike to the number of
guns, including high-powered rifles, being
brought into the country illegally through the
country s porous borders. However, he said,
over the last ten days there had been a drop
in the violence, with a total of seven murders
Williams said statistics showed that of the
over 300 murders the country has recorded to
date, 82 per cent had been committed with
Firearms entering this country illegally were
having a significant impact on the country,
Williams said during an interview on i95.5FM
"Eighty-two per cent of all the murders
committed in 2015 have been committed with
firearms. So firearms are making a major impact
on the violence in T&T.
"So we have murders and then we have
shootings and woundings. So firearms are again
being involved. So within the realm of crime,
firearms are contributing significantly and that
is negatively impacting this country and we
have to find a way to fix the problem we are
Speaking about proper border patrol,
Williams said if the Government could stop
the flow of illegal firearms into the country
the police could guarantee taking them off the
For the year, he said, police had taken 477
guns off the street and 6,400 rounds of ammu-
nition. In 2014, Williams said, they took a total
of 585 illegal guns off the streets.
In relation to the poor crime detection rate,
Williams said the police had changed its
approach, introducing hot spot policing in 256
areas within the nine police divisions, targetting
concentrated areas within a 100-to-200 metre
radius. He said this had resulted in the TTPS
recording its biggest drop in crime.
"When we introduced that in 2013 we saw
crime drop by 26.3 per cent, which really means
that the numbers moved from 17,841 down to
13,147. That has been the biggest drop ever in
the history of the police service in any one
The closest they came to that, he said, was
during the state of emergency (SoE) in 2011
when they recorded a 21.1 per cent drop.
"What we saw after the SoE is that crime
went back up. With the SoE we got a 21.1 per
cent drop, with hot spot policing we got 26.3,
which is higher than the SoE, without locking
down people. What we are seeking to do is to
see this as a sustainable strategy," Williams
50 murders make September most violent
Williams waits for change to selection law
I want the
Rowley, in an interview this week, also
criticised the police's poor detection rate for
murders, saying the ten per cent figure was
But yesterday, Williams said the figures
"The numbers are slightly different but it's
not much different. General detection is
much higher, it is around 22 per cent," he
"We have targeted to improving towards
30 per cent and that is what we are working
towards. We have changed our policing
approach and we have even gotten a drop in
He added that in general after the 2011
state of emergency crimes had increased.
Siblings Trevor Elliot and Asrid Elliot-Bryant plant a kiss on their mother Elfrida, T&T's newest
centenarian, during her birthday party at the St John's London Baptist Church hall, Pembroke
Street, Port-of-Spain. Also in photo, standing from left, are Elliot's granddaughters Denise,
Shay, Safiya, Adanna and Lesley. PHOTO: NICOLE DRAYTON
T&T'S NEWEST CENTENARIAN
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