MINISTER of National Security Stuart Young defended recent police raids in up scale areas of South Trinidad, saying he had insights that they were justified and that the police need no warrant in cases of a “reasonable suspicion” of a crime being committed.
He spoke at yesterday’s post Cabinet briefing at the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann’s, in reply to Newsday's question as to whether the police need a warrant before searching residences, such as if a woman was being butchered.
Young said attorney Israel Khan SC had supported Dr Keith Rowley’s position stated recently in Parliament that, in some cases, the police do not need a warrant.
“What the Prime Minister said, and he is 100 per cent correct in law, is that it is not in every circumstance that you require a search warrant.
“Similar to what you have just said, if you are a law enforcement officer doing your duty and there is reasonable suspicion to believe that a crime is being committed, is about to be committed or is in the process of being committed, they have the authority to enter premises and to do what needs to be done to investigate that and prevent it.”
Further, officers can ask you if they can search your car or premises and once you say yes, that is done without a warrant, Young added.
Regarding the South Trinidad raids, he said Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith had, last Sunday, promised to tell all the circumstances of the raid at the right time.
“I can give the assurance as the Minister of National Security there was nothing that took place in the searching of those homes in South Trinidad that had anything to do with the current corruption charges you see before the courts.
“So all the attempts by the Opposition to say and to muddy the waters that there is some inter-relation between the search of those houses in Gulf View having a connection with the charges we saw being laid against Anand Ramlogan and Gerald Ramdeen, that is a complete lie.”
He reiterated that there was “no connection between the two, whatsoever.”
Young said, “What I would advise you all to do is wait for the appropriate time that the Commissioner of Police can say to the public why those houses were searched.
“I will say this, as the Minister of National Security: There was very good reason for those houses to be searched.
“I am certain that when the Commissioner of Police thinks it is appropriate for him to tell the population as to why it happened, you all will then be in a position to understand why it happened.”