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Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi moving the second reading of the Miscellaneous Provisions (Special Reserve Police and Police Complaints Authority) Bill, 2020 during yesterday’s sitting of Parliament.

Complaints to the Police Complaints Authority up to December 2020 totalled 3,876 – and there are serious consequences regarding the ethnicity and gender of people in PCA’s latest report.

Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi indicated this in Parliament yesterday in piloting a bill to allow the PCA to cover SRPs and municipal police and to extend its ambit to examining alleged corruption in the T&T Police Service and other matters. He said it was designed to bring balance.

The AG said there was a total of 12,213 TTPS officers, SRPS and municipal police.

He noted the PCA’s records also showed 3,259 investigations were done, 77 matters were sent to the DPP and police action was deemed justified in 82 matters.

He said the PCA took 76 per cent of the issues it examined from newspapers. But he said there were serious consequences with the breakdown of ethnicity and gender – with 124 people of African descent topping the list, 56 of East Indian descent, 38 mixed, two Hispanic and 179 unknown. There were mainly male.

The AG acknowledged that the country “is properly dissatisfied” and there’s concern on police killings/shootings and people dying in police custody. He also reiterated the package of planned legislation against Sexual Harassment which he’ll present for public comment.

UNC MP Rodney Charles said Al-Rawi didn’t understand that law didn’t solve crime and his laws were also “only a plaster on the sore.” He said his former colleagues from his days at the United Nations told him T&T was only putting a plaster on sores on the crime issue.

Charles said nothing in the bill will deal with public concerns on the crime issue, as people doubt PCA’s capability to probe officers. He noted concerns expressed about the PCA, not only by the AG but also the PCA’s head and the Prime Minister.

“… But yet we want to put SRP’s under the PCA now,” Charles said.