The Police Complaints Authority (PCA) is concerned about the number of fatal police shootings that have already taken place for the year. With Police Commissioner Gary Griffith promising to go even harder against criminals, the agency is preparing to ramp up its investigations.
Following a shootout in Port-of-Spain on December 31 which left one woman dead and ten others injured, Griffith had said: “So Mr David West (head of the PCA), if he could claim overtime, he will make a lot of money next year because we are going hard and fast on these criminals.”
West gave the assurance yesterday that the PCA is ready.
“If it is that the Commissioner of Police is giving me extra work, I hope he has extra men because if the police officers are charged they should be suspended pending the outcome of the investigation,” he said.
Just eight days into 2020 there have already been six fatal police involved shootings.
According to West, this is more than the amount recorded for the same period last year.
He said: “Compared to last year, the first police involved shooting didn’t take place until the 19th of January and there were only three police involved shootings for the month.”
West stated the PCA conducted 638 investigations last year of which 459 cases were closed with no further action, three files were sent to the Office of Director of Public Prosecutions, 32 to the Commissioner of Police and 19 forwarded to both the DPP and the Commissioner.
Asked whether the authority is able to handle a bigger workload this year, he said: “We have a satisfactory complement of investigators and attorneys and we will, of course, have budgetary requirements to permit any increase in our staff.”