Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith has issued a directive – with immediate effect – that states all officers in plainclothes must comply with standard operational procedures, which mandate that they present their Police Identification Cards to persons whilst in the performance of their duties.
This follows public concern that has arisen with respect to the arrest of two police officers for their alleged involvement in the recent kidnapping for ransom of a South Trinidad woman.
A fourth suspect – wanted for questioning in the ongoing investigation gave himself up to police at around 10:00am today, in San Fernando.
Section 2 of the Commissioner of Police Standing Order states: “Identification cards are to be used for the purpose of identifying such persons as bona fide officers of the Service.
The cards shall be shown to members of the public on demand whether in plainclothes or in uniform.”
Section 4 further states: “Identification Cards shall be carried on the person of all Police Officers in uniform or plainclothes, whether on, or off duty.”
It must be clearly communicated that the police are required by law to identify themselves to suspected persons and other individuals whilst in the execution of their duties, so as to ensure there is no confusion in the minds of persons regarding the authority with whom they are interacting. Commissioner Griffith is also reminding citizens of their right to contact a family member or friend or the police by dialling 999, should they have a concern or be suspicious with the manner in which an officer is conducting himself/herself.
He emphasised that a uniformed police officer in a marked police vehicle, may not necessarily produce his/her Police ID Card on approach or initial interaction but once demanded, it must be presented. Commissioner Griffith encourages members of the public to respect and adhere to the lawful instructions issued by all uniformed and plain clothes officers who have properly identified themselves.
The Commissioner of Police has reiterated that he continues to have full confidence in the upstanding men and women of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service who continue to protect and serve the nation with pride.