David West, Director of the Police Complaints Authority (PCA).

RHONDOR DOWLAT-ROSTANT

The Police Complaints Authority (PCA) is calling on the T&T Police Service to commence disciplinary proceedings against ACP Irwin 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 alleged actions were subject to an investigation into criminal offences that is nearing completion, as well as a probe into 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, to Commissioner of Police, Gary Griffith.

In a release issued on Friday, the PCA said that “commencement of the recommended disciplinary proceedings is especially urgent as Mr. Hackshaw begins official retirement from 9th November, 2020, after which the TTPS will not have the authority to conduct disciplinary hearings.”

“The PCA is aware of Regulation 156(4) of the Police Service Regulations 2007 (the PSR) which states that, ‘the investigating officer shall hold an office higher than that of the officer concerned’. In the instant case, ACP Hackshaw is the most senior officer in the TTPS, except for the CoP. We hope that this issue can be resolved so that the disciplinary procedure can commence,” the PCA said.

It also disclosed that its team of Investigators interviewed several witnesses, recorded witness statements and considered documentary evidence.

The PCA disclosed that Hackshaw was given the opportunity to respond to questions by way of a written statement, or participate in an interview conducted by PCA Investigators with his Attorney-at-Law or any other personal representative present. However, the Authority noted that he (Hackshaw) refused to accept the letter informing him of same.

“The evidence gathered supports the allegation that Mr. Hackshaw accepted paid employment, or undertook private work without approval, in breach of Regulation 133(b) and in contravention of Regulations 150(1); (2)(a); (c) and (d)(i) of the PSR,” the PCA release stated.

PCA Director, David West said: “Given the importance of strengthening community trust and confidence in law enforcement, the PCA calls for immediate action by the TTPS in this matter which concerns one of its senior officers.”

BACKGROUND

In June, the PCA made it clear that the investigation into allegations of suspicious financial activity at three banks involving Hackshaw was ongoing. However, around that same time, the T&T Police Service announced that the investigative file was sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

That disclosure was made by the CoP Griffith during the weekly media briefing that was held at the TTPS’ Police Administration Building in Port-of-Spain on June 9.

Griffith also noted that the review of the police probe was also being done to the benefit of Hackshaw.

“This is because some people want to play prosecutor and even jury to state that what happened is contrary to what was investigated,” the top cop had stated then.

He also made it clear that no “red flags” were ever raised by any banks to suggest suspicious activity, however, noted that an investigation was done, and the file sent to the DPP for further instructions.

On May 28, in a release, the PCA said that upon completion of its investigation, the Authority shall, where deemed necessary, take action in accordance with the Police Complaints Authority Act.

The PCA then noted a report in the Guardian Newspaper dated May 28 regarding the closure of an investigation by the TTPS into Hackshaw, following alleged suspicious financial activity.

“Reference is made to a PCA Press Release dated March 9, 2020, where pursuant to Section 26 of the PCA Act, the PCA ‘has independently initiated a two-fold investigation surrounding reports of unusual financial transactions linked to Acting Deputy Commissioner of Police, Hackshaw; and the alleged dissemination of “sensitive information” by police officers attached to the Professional Standards Bureau’,” the PCA had stated back then.

The PCA stated that if a criminal offence is established, it would be forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecution and other relevant stakeholders. It also disclosed that it “may also make recommendations to the Commissioner of Police on the conduct of officers in private work related business whilst being employed as a Police Officer, and also make recommendations on how police collect donations from the public for alleged police events.”

“The PCA considers this a very serious matter and is working assiduously to complete this investigation as it could potentially have serious implications for the senior officer involved,” the release said.

According to the T&T Guardian article in May this year, an intense three-month police investigation into Hackshaw following a newspaper report which claimed he had allegedly been flagged for suspicious financial activity at three banks, had been closed by the T&T Police Service, with the officer being exonerated from any criminal wrongdoing.

The investigation was conducted by ACP William Nurse of the Port-of-Spain and Western Division and was later submitted to Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith.

The newspaper report in March had alleged Hackshaw had been flagged for activity during the period 2014-2019 and the three banks reported the matter to the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of Trinidad and Tobago.

Hackshaw has since taken legal action against the Trinidad Express, claiming from day one he had been treated unfairly.

“Insiders familiar with the investigation said the report indicated that Hackshaw only had three main accounts in which donations totalling under $.25m were given for five police events over the period 2014-2018. The report said Hackshaw, who had also earned money privately from security-related consultancy, had permission to conduct this activity,” the article said.

The statement issued today by the PCA…

ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER OF POLICE REFERRED FOR THE INSTITUTION OF DISCIPLINARY PROCEEDINGS

On March 9th, 2020, the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) began an independent investigation into reported allegations of unusual financial transactions involving Mr. Irwin Hackshaw, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS).  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 6th, 2020 and referred the evidence gathered together with a recommendation for disciplinary proceedings to be instituted, to Mr. Gary Griffith, Commissioner of Police.

Commencement of the recommended disciplinary proceedings is especially urgent as Mr. Hackshaw begins official retirement from 9th November, 2020 after which the TTPS will not have the authority to conduct disciplinary hearings.  The PCA is aware of Regulation 156(4) of the Police Service Regulations 2007 (the PSR) which states that, “the investigating officer shall hold an office higher than that of the officer concerned.”  In the instant case, ACP Hackshaw is the most senior officer in the TTPS, except for the CoP.  We hope that this issue can be resolved so that the disciplinary procedure can commence.

Our team of Investigators interviewed several witnesses, recorded witness statements and considered documentary evidence.  Mr. Hackshaw was given the opportunity to respond to questions by way of a written statement, or, participate in an interview conducted by PCA Investigators with his Attorney-at-Law or any other personal representative present.  He refused to accept the letter informing him of same.

The evidence gathered supports the allegation that Mr. Hackshaw accepted paid employment, or, undertook private work without approval, in breach of Regulation 133(b) and in contravention of Regulations 150(1); (2)(a); (c) and (d)(i) of the PSR.

PCA Director, Mr. David West said:

“Given the importance of strengthening community trust and confidence in law enforcement, the PCA calls for immediate action by the TTPS in this matter which concerns one of its senior officers.”