Hall of Justice, Port of Spain.

The Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) is reporting that there has been a major improvement in police officers attendance at court cases for which they are responsible.

The Police Service had developed an undesirable reputation in the past with officers failing to show up for their court cases—for varying reasons, including scheduling conflicts—leading to those cases being dismissed as a result

An official statement from the TTPS is reporting more than a 90 percent reduction in non-appearance of Police Officers in court cases, based on statistics in the Police Service Commission’s (PSC) annual report, which was laid in Parliament on October 5th.

The statement was issued in response to an article over the weekend in a national newspaper, which cited the number of court cases which were dismissed in 2019 due to the non-appearance of police complainants, figures made available in the PSC report.

According to the TTPS’ statement, some 270 cases were dismissed for the first three quarters of 2020—a vast improvement compared to 1,050 for the same period last year, which contributed to the total number of dismissed cases of 1,843 for 2019.

The TTPS says it is confident there will be a vast improvement in 2020, based on the figures recorded in the first three quarters:

● 191 cases were dismissed during the period January to March 2020; a 51% decrease from the previous year.

● Eight cases were dismissed during the period April to July 2020; a 97.5% decrease from the previous year.

● 71 cases were dismissed during the period July to September 2020; a 91% decrease from the previous year.

Commissioner of Police, Gary Griffith, says he is confident police officers’ improvement in their court attendance will improve even more, resulting in fewer cases being dismissed, because of several initiatives that have been implemented:

● An increase in the number of staff allocated to the prosecuting section.

● Engagement of the Senior Superintendents to intervene in the case of errant complainants within their respective Divisions.

● The institution of disciplinary procedures.

● Assistance for complainants, where needed.