Lutchmedial: No one trying to muzzle the Ag Commissioner of Police

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Lutchmedial: No one trying to muzzle the Ag Commissioner of Police

Opposition Senator, Jayanti Lutchmedial has denied a claim by the Acting Commissioner of Police, McDonald Jacob, that the United National Congress is trying to “muzzle” him.

In a statement on Saturday, Lutchmedial said Jacob has descended into the political arena and brought the independent office of the Commissioner of Police into grave disrepute.

This follows comments from Jacob on Friday, saying that he will not be silenced after Lutchmedial had earlier criticised him for publicly suggesting ways parliamentarians could strengthen the anti-gang and bail laws.

Lutchmedial said, “To suggest that I am trying to muzzle him is ridiculous and laughable.”

“Perhaps the Commissioner got carried away by the usual political rhetoric and meaningless hype of the Minister of National Security Fitzgerald Hinds whose company he seems to gleefully enjoy.”

“No one is trying to muzzle Mr Jacob. In fact, we have been calling upon him to speak on pertinent issues which fall under his remit. He must however understand that he cannot compromise the independence of his office of Commissioner of Police regardless of his political allegiance.”

Lutchmedial said the ag commissioner has been an abject failure, who has destroyed the good work done by his predecessor.
According to the senator, “When Commissioner (Gary) Griffith demitted office, public confidence in the TTPS was on the rise.”

“Since Mr. Jacob’s appointment however, the public confidence in the police service has waned. Like Hinds, he seems to be burying his head deeper and deeper into the sand whilst trying to convince us that crime is under control. Perhaps he missed the news that a food truck was attacked by gunmen and robbed of $130,000 and when the driver went to the Besson Street Police Station to report the matter more bandits came and stole the rest of food whilst the vehicle was parked in front of the station! Or maybe he didn’t hear the Republic Bank in Couva which is directly opposite the Couva Police Station was robbed by way of a Hollywood-style heist whilst the Police thought construction work was being carried on. Or maybe he has not seen and heard the outcry from citizens over the abuse taking place in children’s home, which the police say they are waiting on the adults in the home to report! The population is looking on, and have their own views as to who is retarded!”

She said: “People feel as though they are sitting ducks and helplessly look on while murders, home invasions and serious crime are the order of the day whilst the Commissioner is a prop for an even bigger failure by the name of Fitzgerald Hinds. The government is in charge of the legislative agenda for Parliament. It is therefore the government’s responsibility to execute its parliamentary duties and the Opposition to play its role in that process.

Lutchmedial noted that at present, the law in this country is that Parliament cannot pass any law to deny bail. “Minister Hinds is a former criminal defence lawyer who defended persons accused of committing crimes and should know better than to invite the Opposition to join hands with the government to breach the Constitution and break the law by enacting legislation which the courts deemed to be illegal and unconstitutional,” she added.

She said, “The Government’s proposal to deny people bail is illegal and hence cannot be supported. This is the law as it stands and any attempt by the Parliament to deny bail is a violation of the separation of powers.”

“It is therefore painful to see McDonald Jacob sacrifice his independence by reducing himself to being a chorus boy for the Hinds’ political choir when he should know better. His support for a proposal that is unconstitutional and doomed to fail is reckless and irresponsible. He is carted out by Hinds to advertise an initiative they intend to bring and does so without any regard to its merits.”

“Fighting crime by denying people their rights is a foolish idea. McDonald Jacob must speak out against the PNM’s failure to have a functioning DNA lab, a proper system for electronic monitoring, to improve the infrastructure in the Magistrates’ Courts, to tackle the backlog in the criminal courts by increasing the compliment of staff in the DPP’s office and giving the Police the resources they need.”

Lutchmedial said, “The low rate of detection and conviction coupled with no real and meaningful attempt to tackle recidivism through rehabilitation is what is responsible for the crime rate – NOT BAIL.”

“Mr Jacob must say what are his new crime fighting initiatives to stem the flow of blood. Can he name one new idea or policy that he has introduced that is working?
Furthermore, we would like to hear him and encourage him to speak out on the following matters:

1. The 2019 special branch report into the activities of Minister Cummings, including illegal occupation of land, obtaining state contracts through political influence and gang affiliations;

2. The recent explosive interview carried in the Trinidad Guardian where a citizen seeking asylum says a gang leader with links to a government minister wants to kill him;

3. The sale of Former AG Faris Al Rawi’s Porsche Cayenne luxury SUV to his friend Roger Kawalsingh without transferring the legal registration at the licensing authority;

4. The political conspiracy to remove former Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith involving Bliss Seepersad, and the infamous meeting between the Prime Minister and the President;

5. The investigation into the mysterious cash payment towards Minister Camille Robinson Regis’ mortgage;

6. The alleged attempts to pervert the course of justice by former AG Al Rawi interference with police investigations into former head of TTPS legal unit Christian Chandler and Paula Gopee Scoon’s son Adrian Scoon;

7. The Judith Jones report repeatedly highlighted by Senator Nakhid concerning the sexual abuse of children at state facilities;

8. The conspiracy between Faris Al Rawi and Vincent Nelson QC with respect to the indemnity agreement which the DPP said he had no knowledge of;

9. The sexual harassment matter involving Former Minister Darrell Smith;

10. Corruption in the grant of Firearm User Licenses based on the Stanley John report that Dr Rowley used to get rid of Gary Griffith.

Lutchmedial said the issue is not whether he should be muzzled but rather, that he should stay in his lane and speak on issues that are relevant to his duties and office.