Ag. Commissioner of Police, Gary Griffith. (Image: SHIRLEY BAHADUR)

Another business lobby group has come out in support of the stance by Acting Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith on Firearm User Licenses (FULs), as well as its improved working relationship with the Police Service under Mr Griffith’s tenure as Police Commissioner between 2018 and 2021.

In an official statement, president of the Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers’ Association (TTMA), Tricia Coosal, expressed support for the granting of FULs to the business community.

“TTMA supports the granting of firearm licenses as a means for the business community to protect themselves utilising the legal framework by following the proper channels of applying for licenses,” she stated.

“The Acting Commissioner of Police is an active member of the TTPS who is aware of the realities in which businesses operate and the needs of the business community, and so his commitment to serve and protect the public from the unsavoury activities of criminal behaviour is welcomed by all in the business community,” she added.

The TTMA President points to a fruitful relationship with the Police Service, which was greatly strengthened under Mr Griffith’s 2018–2021 tenure.

“TTMA has seen significant progress as it pertains to the issue of illicit trade and welcomes the intensifying of searches and seizures of such items as it pertains to that aspect of criminal activity in our country. A Multi-Agency Task Force (MATF) has been created among the TTPS and other regulatory agencies, including the TTMA, which has increased information sharing among the parties involved,” she reported.

Tricia Coosal revealed in her statement that the partnership worked to put a big dent in illicit trade crimes.

“This collaboration has resulted in various seizures of improper goods such as alcohol, arms and ammunition, cigarettes and wrapping paper among other items by the MATF.  The publicising of these seizures has increased the awareness of the public on illicit trade and the impact of such activities can have on health and safety of the average citizen,” she said.

Ms. Coosal added: “Illicit trade activities also have a deleterious impact on the national budget. Such illegal activities curtail the Government’s ability to generate revenues to support the citizens of the country in areas such as the health care system, repairing roads or providing various grants needed.”

The TTMA boss indicated the organisation looks forward to continuing its partnership and progressive work with the Commissioner of Police and the Police Service, after their successful work together on combating crime, reducing illicit trade, and dealing with gender-based violence, among other issues.

“TTMA is providing support via its members to outfit the GBVU with furniture and electronics and other infrastructure.  Nine police stations throughout Trinidad and Tobago have been earmarked to be recipients of these items,” Tricia Coosal reported.

She added: “This initiative will go a long way in allowing victims of domestic violence and other hate crimes to have a safe and secured avenue for not only justice, but a support base with counselling and rehabilitation network.”