PCA director David West.

The Police Complaints Authority (PCA) has called on the T&T Police Service (TTPS) to commence disciplinary proceedings against Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Irwin Hackshaw as its independent investigation into allegations of unusual financial transactions nears completion.

On March 9, 2020, the PCA began an independent investigation into reported allegations of unusual financial transactions involving Hackshaw. That investigation was completed on August 6, 2020, and the PCA said in a statement yesterday that it had referred the evidence gathered, together with a recommendation for disciplinary proceedings to be instituted, to Commissioner of Police, Gary Griffith.

Griffith responded yesterday saying, “It is my intention to act upon these recommendations as soon as reasonably possible.” (See story below)

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

It added, “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.”

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, it added that Hackshaw refused to accept the letter informing him of this.

The PCA noted, however, “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, David West added, “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.”

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 Police Service announced that the investigative file was sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

The 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.

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