Police Commissioner Gary Griffith said the two Bills recently passed in Parliament, the Firearm (Amendment) Bill, 2019 and the Bail (Amendment) Bill, 2019 were two critical pieces of legislation that the (TTPS) needed to manage crime.
Speaking on Power 102’s Power Breakfast Show this morning, Griffith said although the Bills were passed it will take some time to see a change in crime, particularly in the number of homicides noting that citizens may expect to see a turnaround soon. He said the Firearm (Amendment) Bill is a powerful deterrent to persons obtaining illegal weapons. Griffith said he would speak to persons who were arrested for illegal firearms, and they would boast that they’d rather feel safe and get caught with the firearms knowing that they’d be out on the streets by the afternoon or the following day. He gave the example of someone who would be given three years’ jail time for stealing, for example, mangoes whereas someone who was caught with an illegal firearm would be granted $5,000 bail. Griffith said that the Bill would help to change that discrepancy.
But he said there are still shortcomings that must be overcome by the TTPS such as the public’s reluctance to share information, adding that the public must be on board with informing the police of persons who may have firearms. He admitted that there will be a level of confidentiality granted to persons who come forward since the TTPS will need to rely heavily on citizens for information in order for arrests to be made, and subsequent convictions to take place.