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Thursday 21 March 2019
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Griffith orders arms, ammunition audit

Police Commissioner Gary Griffith
Police Commissioner Gary Griffith

POLICE Commissioner Gary Griffith has ordered an audit into all guns and ammunition seized by the police over the past 20 years as he says there is a need to ensure all weapons are accounted for.

He said he planned this weeks ago, even before police seized 23 rounds of TTPS-issued ammunition from two suspects in Arima last Sunday.

Over the past two decades, he said, the police would have seized over 15,000 illegal guns and he wants to know if they were destroyed or if not, are properly accounted for as part of exhibits in ongoing court cases or investigations. The audit will begin in a month and will be done by two experts in firearms and ammunition from outside the TTPS to ensure an independent review.

“We can’t have rogue officers renting out or making TTPS firearms available to criminals. If this is taking place, we will put a stop to this. You are either a police (officer) or a criminal and this type of action will not be tolerated,” Griffith said.

He also said guns and ammunition issued to police officers have to be accounted for and those who cannot do so will have to answer for it.

Griffith said he was concerned over the seizure of 23 rounds of ammunition with the markings “TTPS” in Arima last week when officers intercepted a vehicle with two men one of whom had a pistol which contained the rounds. He was equally concerned when police ammunition was discovered next to the body of a murder victim at Windy Hill in Arima last Monday.

Special Branch officers are working with Northern Division detectives to ascertain how police-issued ammunition ended up at a murder scene. Sources said they won’t be surprised if rogue officers have been making ammunition and guns belonging to the TTPS, available to criminals.

On Thursday, director of the Police Complaints Authority David West described the two incidents as serious. West said he was hoping investigators fast-track the investigation.

Yesterday, a Special Branch source said an audit was taking place to ensure all ammunition is accounted for.

Last Sunday at Arima Old Road, Arima police stopped a vehicle in which two men in their 20s were travelling. Northern Division Task Force officers led by Sgt Ishmael Pitt found a Glock semi-automatic pistol with 23 rounds of ammunition, all with “TTPS” stamped on them. The suspects refused to say where they got the ammunition.

In the second incident, on Monday at 11 pm, police responded to a report of gunshots at River Road, Windy Hill, Arouca. Residents showed them a house with a Toyota Hilux parked outside. When the police went in, they found 38-year-old Garvey Campo on the floor bleeding from gunshot wounds to his stomach and neck. He was taken to hospital but subsequently died.

At the scene, the police found 12 spent shells, all of which had “TTPS” stamped on them.

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