The National Transformation Alliance (NTA) is reminding police that their role is to protect and serve and not to act as security consultants.
In a press release on Saturday, the political party, led by former police commissioner Gary Griffith, said the advice of a senior police officer in the aftermath of a mass killing in central Trinidad last week, was "unsettling."
"It is unsettling that in the aftermath of a tragic incident where three people were killed at a wake, the Head of the Homicide Bureau of Investigations, Snr Supt Rishi Singh, suggested that people should ‘be mindful of who they invite to gatherings," the NTA said in its release.
Last Friday, Keston “Big Shane” Lawrence, Dwayne Charles and Francis Munroe were murdered in a shooting in Carapichaima. Three people were also injured.
They were attending Atiba Barrios’ wake. Barrios died of natural causes, it was reported.
The NTA said Singh should be reminded that wakes did not involve formal invitations or RSVPs and the public lacked “the capacity to conduct background checks and administer polygraph tests before sharing space with others.”
It added, “While it is understood that one should avoid knowingly inviting individuals associated with criminal activities into their homes, this is not the core issues. The harsh reality is that criminals are emboldened to commit murders wherever and whenever they please, because they know there is minimal police visibility, inadequate rapid response, insufficient deterrents, and thus, minimal consequences for their illegal acts.”
It said two years ago it would have been “unimaginable” for any representative of the police to make such statements as it operated without political influence and the police understood their primary duty was to ensure the safety of citizens, rather than further diminishing public trust and confidence in the service.
The release added that the under the country’s current circumstances was not the fault of the police’s “rank and file” but that it was a consequence of poor leadership.