1,000 body cams now being distributed to cops in T&T—Hinds

The T&T Police Service (TTPS), which recently acquired an additional 1,000 more body cameras for use by officers, is currently distributing the equipment.

This brings to 1,160 the total number of bodycams which the TTPS has and more will be acquired.

National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds gave this information in the Senate yesterday.

He was replying to a query from Independent Senator Paul Richards, who sought an update on the acquisition of body cameras for use by TTPS.

Hinds said, “It is noteworthy that prior to this recent acquisition (of 1,000 bodycams), the TTPS already had 160 functional body cameras in use. Altogether, therefore, police now have 1,160 body cameras and these have; and are being deployed to maximum strategic effect across the TTPS in the fight against crime and in the spirit of transparency.”

On if there were plans to get more to supply the TTPS’ 6,000-odd officers, Hinds said, “Absolutely, yes. I couldn’t say with greater specificity (how many more intended in total) but more are in contemplation and we’ll continue to expand the use of body cameras and the ambition to make it a routine part of policing.”

Hinds couldn’t give the cost of the 1,000 additional bodycams.

He said there is a policy for use of the bodycams and that “will evolve and be refined as circumstances demand.”

On queries about fraudulent vaccination activity by some members of the public, meanwhile, Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh said the ministry of is working with the TTPS to determine the prevalence of fraudulent vaccination practices and to take appropriate action.

“As of March 15, 2022, seven matters are before the TTPS, of which three persons were charged for conspiracy to misbehave in public office. The four other matters are currently being investigated.”

Trade Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon also rebuked UNC Senator Wade Mark on his lack of information when he asked her what measures were being taken by Trinidad Cement Limited to resolve workers’ demands for payment of outstanding cost of living allowances.

Gopee-Scoon said, “TCL is a listed company on the T&T Trinidad Stock Exchange (TTSE) and has been privatised since 1990! As such, the company hasn’t been owned or managed by Government in any form or fashion for over 30 years!

“As the former Education and Research Officer for the Bank and General Workers’ Union, with responsibility for worker education programmes, Senator Mark must know that it is not within the remit of the Government to advise on the measures being taken by a private company such as TCL to resolve issues related to collective bargaining.”

On another of Mark’s queries, an IMF report stating the real effective exchange rate was overvalued by 2.4 per cent, Finance’s Colm Imbert said Mark didn’t read the IMF’s other line that the authority prefers to maintain the status quo on the regime. Imbert said the PNM preferred to maintain the status quo with this and didn’t intend to devalue the T&T currency.

He said there was no reason to, as T&T didn’t have issues leading to a currency crisis like balance of payment problems.

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