Rise in police-involved shootings

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Rise in police-involved shootings

There has been an increase in fatal police-involved shootings.

The Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) Public Information Officer, Inspector Michelle Lewis, made the confirmation on Thursday, during the TTPS’ weekly media briefing.

This comes after Director of the Police Complaints Authority (PCA), David West, gave a breakdown of the increasing number of fatal police shootings from 2019 – 2022 during a talk show over the weekend.

Lewis said they too had been keeping records and had observed an “uptick” in the number of police-involved shootings during the past two years.

In the PCA’s 126-page report, it was revealed that 1,028 reports of misconduct had been received from members of the public during the period October 2021 to September 2022.

The PCA described this as a “record-high number of initial reports,” which represented an increase of eight per cent and 31 per cent respectively, when compared to the previous reporting periods of 2020-2021 and 2019-2020.

Lewis said, “From our own records, through CAPA (Crime and Problems Analysis), we have noted an uptick in relation to fatal police-involved shootings over the period 2021 and 2022,” Lewis said.

“It is of concern to the police, as it indicates that there are matters and incidents which cause police to have to discharge their firearms in the execution of their duties. And it is very concerning the amount of illegal firearms and ammunition we have out there and the combative (environment) the police have to engage in, in the course of their duty. So, it is indeed a concern and is engaging our attention.”

She said the TTPS will continue its sensitization efforts with officers in relation to the Use of Force Policy.