As T&T readies itself for the upcoming general election campaign, Police Commissioner Gary Griffith is assuring the public that the TTPS will remain on full alert “to prevent any subversive element from attempting to affect our democracy.”
In a five-page release on Saturday, Griffith vowed, “We would not fail. We would not let you down.”
Referring to the protests of the last few days, Griffith said the TTPS stepped up and secured the nation from a group of criminal elements intent on destabilising the country. Griffith said any attempt to cause mayhem and destruction reminiscent of July 1990 was struck down by the TTPS. He said all the ingredients were present to confirm a plot to destabilise the country.
The protests started over the killing of three people in Morvant on June 27. He said that action was not them exercising their constitutional right to lawfully protest, but using the circumstance as a cloak to justify the acts of violent crime.
“This gave the criminal elements the opportunity to join in the plan for mayhem and destruction by organising themselves to come into Port-of-Spain to burn and loot businesses. These were evil elements supported by some in influential places, who had an agenda.”
Indicating he will not be fazed, Griffith said,”They certainly are not aware of my experience and training. I am the last person to retreat or surrender if it means causing the loss of lives.”
He said no group of gangs or insurgents would be allowed to don a cloak as protesters for a right cause when their sole attempt is to cause death and destruction.
Confirming 60 people were arrested on Friday night as they gathered in one place which is against the COVID-19 restriction which allows no more than 25, Griffith said, “I would make the lives of all such enemies of the State very difficult and would hunt down every criminal element, one by one, whether they wear sagging pants or the latest Hugo Boss suit, whether they live in a hot spot area or the most luxurious residential area, whether they are gang leaders or clandestine supporters for their cause who have the opportunity to make public statements to fool the country into believing the TTPS is the problem and I am the catalyst for the problem.”
Griffith said, “They expected that the TTPS may have been slow off the blocks as was done in 1990, hence giving time to burn, destroy and loot.” He said the police have matured immensely since that period and learnt from our shortcomings.