PRESIDENT of the Police Service Social Welfare Association Insp Gideon Dickson has accused the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) of prejudicing the outcome of the enquiry into DCP Irwin Hackshaw, saying the authority has labelled police officers criminals without due process.
Speaking at the weekly media conference at the Police Adminstration Building in Port of Spain, on Thursday, Dickson maintained that Hackshaw was innocent until proven guilty and the association would continue to endorse him as Deputy Commissioner of Police until evidence of wrongdoing is found.
Dickson said the PCA sent copies of an incomplete investigation to both the Police Service Commission (PSC) and the office of the Commissioner of Police, which he felt would prejudice the outcome of the enquiry against Hackshaw’s favour.
“We understand there is an investigation that there is an investigation the PCA is conducting and is incomplete. However, we also want to put on record that we are aware that the PCA º who would have sent versions of the incomplete investigation to the PSC and the Commissioner of Police – and we believe this contaminates any investigation, we feel it places bias in terms of an outcome and we also have records to show the PCA would have already labelled police officers as the biggest gang in TT. That is stated categorically.
“We believe in this instance here a witch hunt is being conducted in relation to Mr Hackshaw. We would want everyone to know that the association’s position is that due process must in fact take place. He is innocent until proven guilty and upon completion of the subsequent investigation by the PCA, we will support whatever the outcome is at that point,” Dickson said.
He also noted the frequency with which articles were published which he felt were intended to “attack” Hackshaw’s credentials and reputation.
Police Commissioner Griffith blasted a media house and political activist for what he described as “WWF tag team” in putting pressure on him to conform to a particular agenda while creating a rift between his office and the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
Griffith said that contrary to public perception, he has been proactive in investigating reports of wrongdoing among police and has worked towards addressing allegations of misconduct.
“Let me clarify something here: over 120 files of police were sent to the DPP. It means that virtually every single week under my watch, at least one police officer, his file has gone to the DPP for possible charges to be made on that officer for what we perceive.
“So that rumshop talk that anyone is trying to pelt to give the impression that police officers protect police officers – it is not going to work.”