Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 28th 2013 Contents A6
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Deputy Police Commissioner
Mervyn Richardson is unmoved
by Gary Griffith s demand for
the police to give back his com-
puter and BlackBerry cellphone.
Griffith, security adviser to the
Prime Minister, handed over the
items about a month ago to police
probing the e-mail scandal. But
he has since expressed concern
over the possibility of information
"I don t know what the hue
and cry is all about, " Richardson
The investigation was ongoing,
he said, and when it was com-
pleted the items would be
returned to Griffith.
Saying he did not know why
Griffith chose to "go down that
road," he said he hoped Griffith
would take into consideration
that the police were working
assiduously to seek answers.
Saying he was pleased with the
progress of the investigation,
Richardson added that several
people had been interviewed by
But only Griffith handed over
his electronic devices.
"I must say Mr Griffith has
co-operated very well with the
police, and I would only hope he
would take that into considera-
tion," Richardson said.
"Out of all the others he was
the only person who left his cell-
phone and computer with us.
"But I really don t know why
he wanted to choose that course,
because we are in the middle of
an investigation...what else can
He assured the items would be
returned to Griffith and the police
had no intention of keeping them.
On what assurances could be
given that there would be no
tampering with electronic
devices, Richardson said it was
the same police who had been
investigating all the crimes for
"It is the same Police Service
from way back when that has
been investigating serious crimes
and all other types of crimes," he
"When something happens to
anyone it s the same police they
pick up the phone and call, so I
don t understand that."
Attorney General Anand Ram-
logan and Minister of Local Gov-
ernment, Works and Infrastruc-
ture Suruj Rambachan have
refused to hand over their com-
puters and other electronic
devices, fearing a breach of their
constitutional right to privacy.
Their attorney Pamela Elder,
SC, also expressed concern to the
police that digital evidence might
be compromised by accidents or
alterations which could affect the
conclusion of the inquiry.
Elder said Ramlogan and Ram-
bachan were willing to hand over
the items once the police imple-
mented certain procedures.
In response to Elder, Richard-
son said: "I have heard her, and
again, what I am saying, it s the
same police who for years have
been investigating all the mat-
ters...murders and high-profile
matters and matters of all kinds
in the country. So I don t know
how far she would go with that."
Acting Police Commissioner
Stephen Williams, while fielding
questions from members of the
media yesterday, was also asked
to comment on the issue of con-
Williams said, "I want to com-
ment on that, but if I do, I feel
that would make the news for
the next two weeks."
Throwing all his support
behind the Police Service,
Williams said: "The Police Service
has been investigating all kinds
of matters in T&T. We investi-
gated the airport (Piarco) fiasco
and people were charged...exten-
sive investigation for years. We
investigated matters relating to
"Nobody is asking any ques-
tion about preserving anything
and you know strange enough
that question comes up," he said.
Pressed further about the con-
cerns raised by Elder, Williams
said concerns would always come
"It is up to Deputy Police
Commissioner Mr Richardson to
use his training, his skills and his
entire team of professionals to
bring resolution to this situation
within the fastest possible time,"
"I have impressed on him the
importance of dealing with this
investigation within the fastest
period of time."
Richardson on 'hue and cry' from Griffith:
The time has come to revamp the
structure of the Police Service and to
decentralise it to make it more efficient
and more responsive to the needs of
This initiative would also ease some
of the pressure on acting Police Com-
missioner Stephen Williams.
Making this call yesterday was Prof
Ramesh Deosaran, chairman of the
Police Service Commission, at the
launch of the Caribbean Institute for
Security and Public Safety at Capital
"What we have to consider is if our
local structure is amendable and
responsible enough," Deosaran said.
Saying the police alone could not
deal with the types and range of crimes,
Deosaran said in terms of administration
there was urgent need to network with
"The Police Service would try their
best but in terms of administration and
jurisdiction they need to network in a
firmer partnership with Customs (and
Excise Division), Immigration and the
officers of the various regional corpo-
rations," Deosaran said.
He said the shipment of drugs enter-
ing vulnerable ports accompanied by
high-powered weapons was a cause of
"The kinds of guns you are getting,
the sophistication of weaponry and the
increase in cocaine imports...these
things are coming from abroad," he
"So while the police manpower is
limited mainly on land security, you
have the Coast Guard, but you also
need the co-operation on a wider
sphere from the customs and immi-
gration officers, apart from or in addi-
tion to the other patrol units. The Gov-
ernment is now security."
He said the involvement of officers
from the regional corporations and pri-
vate security officers was also key and
could greatly assist the police.
"You have to involve the regional
corporations and the private security
officers much more strategically within
Police Service because there is a need
for shared intelligence.
"On the ground level you have the
regional corporation officers and you
have scattered across the country some
40,000 private security officers who
could deliver with rapidity to law
enforcement officers," Deosaran added.
Saying there could be no prosperity
without public safety, Deosaran said
money alone was not the answer.
Another area of concern was the
consolidation of resources, including
"One of the most strategic ways to
achieve that intelligence is to have the
private security officers engage in a
strategic way with police officers,"
Deosaran added. (GK)
Prof Ramesh Deosaran, head of the Police Service Commission, centre, chats with
Arima Borough Corporation alderman Beverly Ali, right, and US certified fraud
investigator Dwight Halls at the official launch of the Caribbean Institute for
Security and Public Safety at Capital Plaza, Port-of-Spain yesterday.
PHOTO: NICOLE DRAYTON
Deosaran: Need to change
structure of Police Service
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