Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 26th 2013 Contents A5
Tuesday, March 26, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
The T&T Police Service (TTPS)
needs a fleet of 1,600 vehicles in
order to be as effective as the coun-
try needs, says acting Commissioner
of Police Stephen Williams.
The service has a fleet of 1,281 vehi-
cles, with some being auctioned and
others not operational.
In an interview Williams said the
fleet was never fully operational.
"Many of the vehicles are down
and some are at the Vehicle Main-
tenance Company (VMCOTT) wait-
ing to be repaired and some need to
be auctioned," he said.
He could not give the number of
working vehicles or the number of
vehicles waiting for maintenance.
He said the police used "normal
commercial vehicles" as opposed to
custom-built ones and because of
that a vehicle lasted between five and
seven years in the service.
"Because of how the service func-
tions, the cars will not last as long.
These vehicles are used in chases and
in high-pressure situations so of
course there will be a large number
of accidents and vehicle maintenance
will be high," he added.
Asked whether police were taking
proper care of the cars, Williams said:
"Like anywhere else, you will have
challenges. The Police Service will
have more accidents and problems
with vehicles because of the type of
work we do."
He said the service needed cus-
tom-built vehicles but that was not
a high priority at the time.
"To get custom-built vehicles takes
a long process. We are exploring it
but it is not an immediate activity
that we are looking at," he added.
The Selwyn Ryan crime report
which found that between 30 to
40 per cent of the members of
the Police Service were corrupt
has been described as "way
beyond imagination" by acting
Police Commissioner Stephen
The report was put together by
a five-member committee chaired
by Ryan to enquire into the cause
Williams was speaking to mem-
bers of the media after the opening
ceremony yesterday of the Nation-
al Crisis Management Workshop
on bio-terrorism at the Police
Academy, St James.
Saying he had no idea what
measures were used by Ryan to
come up with the statistic of rogue
elements in the Police Service
Williams added that he had not
read the report.
But he insisted the figure of cor-
rupt cops was "inaccurate."
He added: "Surely I could tell
this nation there is no way in the
T&T Police Service there is 40 per
"If you just do the numbers...
an organisation which has an
approved strength of 7,715... for
me it's a crazy piece of statistic
and I don't want to comment on
the issue of how it was compiled."
Pressed further about the per-
ception of corruption he said that
was nothing new.
"There is always a perception
of corruption in all police services
across the globe. What you do is
try and minimise corrupt officers
in your organisation. This is not
something that is unique but it is
of great concern to me," he added.
The report also suggested that
officers should pursue their corrupt
colleagues more vigorously and
other public officials involved in
Williams, when asked how he
viewed that, refused to comment.
He maintained he was yet to read
the report and would not comment
on second hand information given
to him, even from the media.
"The sad thing about comment-
ing on what someone else said or
wrote is how I am to verify what
you are quoting is in fact in the
Ryan report. I have not had an
opportunity to read it. I don't even
have a copy of it," Williams added.
National Security Minister Jack
Warner, who was also present, said
he was not aware that the police
were not going after the "big fish".
He said: "Half the things in this
country is based on old talk and
half is based on mauvais langue.
If they bring evidence then that is
"But I have no evidence of any
'big fish' or 'medium-sized' fish
that they are not going against."
Asked why it became necessary
for Prime Minister Kamla Persad-
Bissessar to go beyond the National
Security Council to find solutions
for the crime problem Warner said
the Prime Minister could go "any-
where to find a solution."
"The solutions are not confined
to the Security Council, to the
Prime Minister or even the police.
It can even come from the mouths
of babes and sucklings," he added.
He said crime was being fought
from a two-pronged approach, a
"softer" approach being the Hoop
of Life basketball competition and
the "hard" approach.
"There are those guys out there
who need the hard approach and
therefore it is both hard and soft,"
National Security Minister Jack Warner, left, with acting Police
Commissioner Stephen Williams, right, and Deputy Commissioner
Mervyn Richardson prior to the start of the national crisis management
workshop on bio-terrorism at the Police Academy, St James, yesterday.
PHOTO: BRIAN NG FATT
Acting CoP dismisses
report on corrupt cops
Williams: Police Service
needs 1,600 vehicles
Firefighters quickly controlled a
fire that broke out yesterday at the
First Citizens Bank, Eastern Main
Road, San Juan.
A report said around 6.25 am, they
received a call that smoke and fire
had been seen coming from inside the
Officers from the San Juan Fire Sta-
tion responded along with the police
and T&T Electricity Commission
Assistant divisional fire officer
Alexander and fire station officer King
visited the scene.
When a T&T Guardian team visited
the area, customers and the bank's
employees were outside staring at the
building and watching the firefighters
do their work.
Officers said the fire was confined
to the ground floor of the building
and fire prevention officers were
investigating its cause.
In a press release manager of group
corporate communications Dexter
Charles said the fire had been extin-
guished and Fire Services officers were
still on the scene seeking to determine
However, Charles said the branch
would not open until further notice
due to the level of the water damage.
"We are working on getting the
ATM service back up within the next
48 hours. While staff have been
deployed to branches near the
San Juan branch, customers are
reminded that based on bank's multi-
branch banking capabilities, they can
visit any First Citizens branch to com-
plete routine banking transactions,"
Charles added that no staff or
member of the public was in the
building at the time of the fire and
based on their assessment of the
branch all information and documents
were not affected.
"The group thanks the public for
its patience and understanding at this
time," he added. (CC)
A police officer makes notes at the scene of the fire at the FCB branch, San Juan,
yesterday. PHOTO: ANDY HYPOLITE
Firemen contain blaze
at FCB in San Juan
Acting Police Commissioner
Stephen Williams will tour the
San Fernando Police Station
today with members of the
Police Service Social and Welfare
The station which houses the
Guard and Emergency Branch,
Court and Process, San Fernando
Police Station, Fingerprint Section
and other units has fallen into a
state of disrepair over the past
Police officers claim that they
will not occupy the building if it
does not meet the standards of
the Occupational Health and
The officers have complained
of a bat and rodent infestation
and a lack of space at the station.
Other stations at La Brea,
Roxborough and St Joseph have
also fallen into a state of deteri-
The lawmen claimed they
would not work in the dilapidated
buildings yesterday after waiting
for improvements over the past
General secretary of the asso-
ciation Sgt Michael Seales said
they did not receive reports of
officers staying away from work
yesterday but the officers were
determined not work in a place
that was not suitable.
In an interview yesterday,
Seales said: "We are meeting with
the commissioner (today) and we
want to relocate them (the offi-
cers). We won't work in a place
that is not safe."
President of the association,
acting Inspector Anand Ramesar,
said the officers would do what
was within the parameters of the
law after Williams inspected the
He added: "We won't do any-
thing prior and we have given our
word that we will not do anything
until he views the station.
"We won't be moving officers
out of the station until we give
him the opportunity to view the
station and discuss the matter
and concerns we have."
Ramesar: We will act after
today s station inspection
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