OROPOUCHE East MP Dr Roodal Moonilal has said he will ask Parliament's National Security Joint Select Committee (JSC) to urgently seek answers from Commissioner of Police Erla Harewood-Christopher about the alarming increase in home invasions and reports that police are not switching on body cameras assigned to them.
Moonilal made this disclosure to Newsday during a free legal clinic at his constituency's sub-office on Mohess Road, Debe on Sunday.
"It is my intention to consult with the other members of the National Security Committee of the Parliament and to quickly request the CoP to attend a JSC meeting again to deal with home invasions and body cams."
The latter will deal with the policy for the use of body cameras and what measures are being taken to reprimand officers for deliberately keeping cameras off while interacting with the public.
Moonilal expressed concern with the level of home invasions.
"Today home invasions have reached a state of reminding people of war-torn communities in Eastern Europe...places in Asia...Africa...Latin America." He said these places have societies in civil war/war-torn situations.
"You have this level of home invasion because there has been a collapse in law and order and society is unpoliced."
On body cameras, Moonilal said, "We are not surprised that when you get body cams, they are being switched off at critical points." He attributed this to management problems and said the police service was not the only organisation experiencing those problems.
Moonilal also said the National Security JSC will meet on Wednesday and one of the people scheduled to appear before it is Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Roger Gaspard, SC.
He recalled that fellow committee member Opposition Senator Jayanti Lutchmedial and himself asked for the JSC to arrange a meeting with Gaspard to discuss challenges affecting his office.
Moonilal said during that meeting, questions about what charges police officers could face if they deliberately switched off their body cameras while interacting with the public will be raised.
In February, Harewood-Christopher told the JSC 1,000 body cameras were assigned to officers across the ten police divisions, the Inter-Agency Task Force and the Guard and Emergency Branch. She said then another 400 units will be available by the end of May.
An order from former acting police commissioner Stephen Williams, issued on August 11, 2017, details standard operating procedure for body cameras. It is mandatory for them to be on while an officer is on patrol.
The camera must remain on until the end of the shift. Station shift commanders are responsible for maintaining a camera register and recorded viewing history.