Griffith: 2023 Carnival cannot be described as safe and Hinds should be held accountable

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Griffith: 2023 Carnival cannot be described as safe and Hinds should be held accountable

Former Police Commissioner, Gary Griffith, said 2023 was very different from a “safe Carnival.”

In a social media post, Griffith said, “We must face the reality that what occurred over the Carnival weekend, with the nine murders, the stabbings, shootings, even at police officers on patrol, and a foreign visitor, the brazen robberies, reports of rapes and other assaults; cannot be described as a ‘safe Carnival,’ just because someone says so, as the data clearly shows otherwise.”

Griffith placed blamed solely on the shoulders of the Minister of National Security Fitzgerald Hinds and not the police officers themselves.
He said Hinds virtually abandoned his post to revel and play mas,” and should be held accountable.

Griffith claimed that none of the former serving security ministers “would have been so irresponsible to shirk their responsibility on the two most difficult days for national security operations.”

He said the thousands of officers who worked for Carnival understood their role and function, in contrast to Hinds, who was enjoying himself in costume.

“This abandonment of post by Hinds during Carnival is similar to a general fighting a battle and telling his officers he doesn’t have to be there with them on the day of the battle, because they are already prepared. It is simply poor leadership.”

Griffith said the Commissioner of Police should check again whether there was a full contingent of officers on duty, alleging it was far less than the 99.3 per cent turnout he cited for 2020.

He said the public would know for themselves, as there was a visible difference, in that two police officers were stationed at every street corner in Woodbrook and throughout Port of Spain. Griffith blamed not the officers, but poor co-ordination and the use of manpower.

Comparing his time as commissioner without murders and violent crime, Griffith said 2023 was very different from a “safe Carnival.”

He added that the 2020 Carnival was virtually traffic-free, in total contrast to this year.

“There was a total absence of a comprehensive traffic plan, as we witnessed gridlock throughout the country, and especially in areas around the Queen’s Park Savannah, and in roadways, in and out of the west.”

Griffith assured the public that unlike Rowley, he will take full responsibility for the safety and security of citizens, and just as was done in 2020 and part of 2021, fix the crime problem again.