Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 17th 2016 Contents A4
JENSEN LA VENDE
Operating on less than half the required
staff to be at optimum level, the recently
formed Child Protection Unit of the
Police Service have 358 cases before the
courts arising out of 1,709 reports
between May last year to February.
The required staff needed for the unit
is 216, inclusive of ten civilians. The cur-
rent staff is 99 with one civilian.
Addressing the media at the weekly
press briefing yesterday, at Police Admin-
istration Building, Port-of-Spain, head of
the unit, Supt Odette Lewis, said there
were other challenges that the unit, which
exists within the nine policing divisions
across the country, was facing.
Lewis said there was a lack of support
from the communities where some of the
victims lived and housing for some vic-
"At this time, I would say, support from
the community is important. Sometimes we
don't have that. I would also say, based on
our strength at present, the powers that be
must be aware that we need more places of
safety for our nation's children.
"We are doing the best we can in collab-
oration with the Children's Authority. For
example, forensic interviewing and medical
examinations and what have you... but at the
moment, we are managing. Within the next
couple months, I am sure there will be an
improvement," Lewis said.
She added her unit was "pleading and begging"
communities to give the relevant information
and to co-operate to ensure prosecution and con-
victions in the cases.
Asked about the safety of the nation's children
given the high number of negative reports of
child sexual abuse, Lewis urged parents, guardian
and citizens to be vigilant.
She said while the unit's main focus was on
sexual crimes against children, they have dealt
with children who have been physically abused.
A video showing a schoolgirl cursing and threat-
ening a female teacher outside of the teachers staff
room has gone viral on social media site Facebook,
prompting the T&T Unified Teachers Association
to launch an investigation.
The video has been viewed over 70,000 times
and has been shared over 2,000 times on Facebook
since it was posted on Tuesday night.
In the video, the girl, in full school uniform,
questions a report made by the teacher.
She can be heard asking the teacher whether
she (the teacher) reported that the student had
been having sexual intercourse with another stu-
dent in a classroom.
The girl, who was confirmed to be a student
of the Williamsville Secondary School, shouted at
the teacher and threatened to slap her. The teacher
began to walk off after the first few expletives.
The schoolgirl was then cheered on and
encouraged by fellow peers as the teacher
retreated into the staff room.
TTUTA vice-president Lynsley Doodhai said
it was becoming a trend in the latest series of
violent acts being carried out against the staff
of schools throughout the country.
"The student in question is on stellar grounds
to be suspended. The use of violence as a threat
and obscene language towards a teacher gives
grounds for a report to be made to the police,"
TTUTA president Devanand Sinanan said that
type of behaviour was totally unacceptable and it
showed the level of disrespect shown to teachers
daily. He said in recent time some teachers have
been complaining that they could get shoot or killed
but that they were just trying to maintain law and
order at the schools.
"It is becoming overbearing. What socialisation
are they coming with?" he asked.
Sinanan said there was also a big disconnect
between the teachers and the parents.
"The parents asking who looking after my child
when they home? They think teachers are glorified
babysitters. When you call the parents they saying
alyuh can't deal with that?"
When contacted on the matter yesterday, Police
Public Information Officer, Inspector Michael Pierre,
said if the teacher was threatened he would advise
her to make a report to the Ministry of Education
and the police.
A Form Four student will appear in the
Rio Claro Magistrates Court this morning
charged with beating his school principal.
The boy, 16, is a student of the Rio Claro
East Secondary School. He and another student
were arrested on Tuesday afternoon after a
fight at the school.
According to reports, around 2.30 pm both
boys were allegedly gambling in the school toilet when
a fight over money started.
The school's principal, Warren Garaway, intervened
but the boys allegedly turned their anger on him,
beating him with a dustbin cover. Garaway was sub-
sequently taken to the Rio Claro Health Facility where
he was treated for cuts and bruises.
Both boys were arrested but a senior police officer
said one was released yesterday without any charges
The officer said the principal did not know which
one of the boys had beaten him. After taking statements
from witnesses, the police charged one of the boys.
The charged teen was released on $500 station bail
and is expected to appear in court today.
Schoolboy to appear
in court today
Two police officers were pointed out in iden-
tification parades yesterday in relation to reports
of a stabbing and gun-brandishing incidents.
The officers, a Special Reserve Police attached
to the Guard and Emergency Branch, and
a sergeant attached to the Professional
Standards Bureau were picked out by wit-
nesses at the Central Police Station, Port-
of-Spain, and the La Horquetta Police Sta-
The SRP surrendered to officers at the
Woodbrook Police Station on Tuesday in connection
with a stabbing incident along Ariapita Avenue last
Friday where two people were injured outside a gyro
stand. A video of the incident was posted on social
media after the incident.
Police said after he was pointed out the officer
complained of feeling unwell and was taken to the
Port-of-Spain General Hospital where he was warded
up to 6.30 pm. Police said the man was suffering
with high blood pressure and dizziness.
The sergeant was arrested in connection with
brandishing his service weapon last year in front of
a teenager and his father in Sangre Grande.
Police will consult with the Office of the Director
of Public Prosecutions today before any decision is
made to charge the officers.
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, March 17, 2016
Cops picked out
at ID parades
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