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Commissioner of Police, Gary Griffith.

Rhondor Dowlat-Rostant

Commissioner of Police (CoP) Gary Griffith has sought to clear the air again on allegations surrounding senior police officer ACP Irwin Hackshaw saying that the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) is yet to submit documents pertaining to the acquisition of funds alleged to be by illegal means.

Last week, Griffith said with respect to the allegations of fraud surrounding Hackshaw and the call for disciplinary action to be taken against him as the PCA’s independent investigation is coming to an end, he is not to be bullied into taking any action.

However, this week, Griffith disclosed that the T&T Police Service (TTPS) is yet to receive any documentation from the PCA on the allegations and its findings.

“The PCA has submitted nothing to the Police Service as it pertains to this officer acquiring funds from illegal means. So when others plastering misinformation, questioning on what is being done on Mr Hackshaw based on money in account, it means they are questioning the professionalism of the PCA.”

“The PCA, up to this time, similar to the police, both investigations up to this time have proven no criminal intent or possible investigation angle towards the individual being involved in criminal activity whether you want to call it white-coloured crime or money laundering access of funds through fraud access through criminal means nothing. All of this is to ascertain whether a police officer got permission to work on one year vacation. That is it…As the CoP I will deal with it as much as possible,” he added.

Griffith promised to clarify next week in the weekly media conference as to what they are doing to prevent it from happening in the future.

“As we’ve seen many police officers engaged in similar activities where they would acquire funds from different organisations under the guise of acquiring funds to resubmit the funds to assist a charitable organisation, school project or what. It’s an inappropriate system and hence we formed the I support system for checks and balances for all funds given.”

“But we have senior officers with family members that they are partners in business and many worked in Tribe, Bliss, Yuma you name it…most of them have not asked the CoP for permission. It does not make it right. The discipline is anyone who wants to work should ask the CoP for permission. Nothing else. We are investigating so when you see people continue to go on social media that the TTPS is trying to cover up and is not doing what is required. We are!” he added.

Just over a week ago, the TTPS openly and willingly accepted the PCA’s recommendation to proceed with disciplinary proceedings against Hackshaw

However, Griffith had said that such proceedings were also subject to due process.

The TTPS explained that a tribunal would be set up if possible, and the process would unfold consistent with every other tribunal undertaken within the Police Service.

“The TTPS continues to seek Senior Counsel’s advice on how and if we may be able to proceed.”

“This matter is therefore engaging our active attention,” the TTPS said.

It added that whilst it appreciated that the PCA, as a public independent body, has its job to do and that they are well within their rights to report to the national community through the media, the TTPS “also must be clear that the PCA recommendation in and of itself, is not an assumption of guilt on the part of Mr Hackshaw.”

“The TTPS cannot therefore simply move to discipline Mr Hackshaw in an arbitrary manner. There is a process spelt out in the Police Service Regulations which must be followed,” the release added.

Last month the PCA called on the Police Service to commence disciplinary proceedings against Hackshaw as its independent investigation into reported allegations of unusual financial transactions is nearing completion.

On March 9, 2020, the PCA began an independent investigation into reported allegations of unusual financial transactions involving Hackshaw.

The actions are subject to an investigation into criminal offences, that is nearing completion and serious police misconduct. The PCA completed the investigation into serious police misconduct on August 6, 2020 and referred the evidence gathered together with a recommendation for disciplinary proceedings to be instituted.