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Wednesday 17 January 2018
Local

Duke wants security after ‘suspicious’ police visit

PSA president Watson Duke

Minority Leader of the Tobago House of Assembly and president of the Public Services Association (PSA) Watson Duke is calling on the Minister of National Security and the acting Commissioner of Police to provide him with security. He says he felt threatened by a visit from “suspicious police officers.”

At a press conference at PSA’s headquarters on Abercromby Street, Port of Spain, yesterday, Duke said three police officers from the Arima station went to his home at One Woodbrook Place claiming they had a report of a disturbance, but later said they had documents to drop off.

“I am here to report of a troubling event that occurred over the weekend, causing me a level of alarm and, I must say, sober concern,” Duke said.

“Sunday morning, about 1.50 am, I was awakened by an incoming call to my wife’s personal cell phone. It was the receptionist for One Woodbrook Place. She called reporting that there were police officers downstairs claiming that there was some type of disturbance within our residence.

“My children were sleeping, we were sleeping prior to that, so my wife (assumed) perhaps they got the wrong number. Within five minutes they called back, where the receptionist stated that they – officers – are insisting they come to our apartment to check on the disturbance they claimed they had reported to them.”

He said a report was made to members of the Central Police Station and the Police Complaints Division, and he will soon write to the Police Complaints Authority, the National Security Minister, the Attorney General and the acting Police Commissioner.

“Something has to come out of this, because too many people are being knifed and gunned down on a daily basis, and it seems as if it is water under the bridge. The state of New York has far less crime than the State of TT.

“When the officers realised the security was speaking to me, they changed the story and said they want to drop off a document. They did not say what the document was. At that time I found it quite curious and asked for their identification numbers and their names.”

Duke said he needed to be protected properly because he held two controversial positions of the State. He said there is great concern for the safety of his life and the safety of his family owing to the insistence of the “so-called police officers” which left them traumatised.

“In One Woodbrook Place there is security around the clock and, in an event there is a disturbance, the security will be the first to respond. In an event of an emergency, the entire building is coded with fire alarms. There is a system. How much more secure can you be in a place to call for security from quite Arima police station to come to Port of Spain?” Duke asked.

When asked if incidents like these would deter him from his responsibilities, Duke said, “To run is not within me. I know my tribe I came from in Africa, and to run is not within my tribe. We do not run out nor away. We run in.

“I have had many threats on my life before and the police are aware of it. The police are aware of that. I am not afraid of any of those threats. But I have a family I must look after. I will do what I have to do to protect my family and myself, as Malcolm X says, by any means necessary.”

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