Add St. Lucia News Online on Whatsapp +1758 712 6700; get major headlines and source us with news tips, photos, and videos

Trinidad: Police to monitor social media activity in 2020

By Trinidad Guardian

 Share This On:

Gary Griffith

(TRINIDAD GUARDIAN) — In 2020 the T&T Po­lice Ser­vice (TTPS) will cre­ate a cen­tre with the ca­pac­i­ty to mon­i­tor and analyse so­cial me­dia ac­tiv­i­ty via the use of sur­veil­lance sys­tems, and the TTPS will al­so get the Ar­moured Per­son­nel Car­ri­ers which Po­lice Com­mis­sion­er Gary Grif­fith had ad­vo­cat­ed since he was the Na­tion­al Se­cu­ri­ty Min­is­ter un­der the Peo­ple’s Part­ner­ship regime.

This and oth­er in­for­ma­tion on TTPS’ plans for 2020 are con­tained in the 2020 Pub­lic Sec­tor In­vest­ment plan (PSIP) and De­vel­op­ment Pro­gramme.

These re­ports were part of 2020 Bud­get doc­u­ments laid in Par­lia­ment on Mon­day.

The TTPS re­ceived ap­prox­i­mate­ly $2.6B in the 2020 Bud­get – an in­crease from $2.2b in 2019.

Police Commissioner Gary Griffith speaks to members of the media (file photo)

Po­lice of­fi­cers said yes­ter­day such an ini­tia­tive like a so­cial me­dia analy­sis cen­tre has the po­ten­tial to great­ly as­sist TTPS sys­tems, pro­vid­ing ma­te­r­i­al on a wide range of is­sues from in­ci­dents of crime and ter­ror­ism to cross bor­der is­sues con­tribut­ing to crime.

In 2020 TTPS will be ex­pand­ing its fleet from 1,668 to 1,900 ve­hi­cles.

The PSIP stat­ed, “This in­creased mo­bil­i­ty will im­prove TTPS’ ef­fi­cien­cy and ef­fec­tive­ness by im­prov­ing the lev­el of ser­vice pro­vid­ed to cit­i­zens, in­creased po­lice vis­i­bil­i­ty na­tion­wide and im­proved op­er­a­tional ca­pa­bil­i­ty through­out the or­gan­i­sa­tion.”

“An al­lo­ca­tion of $30 mil­lion will as­sist TTPS in pur­chas­ing the fol­low­ing types of ve­hi­cles: Sport Util­i­ty Sedan, Ar­moured Per­son­nel Car­ri­er (APC), and Sport Util­i­ty Ve­hi­cle (SUV).

Grif­fith had ad­vo­cat­ed the use of APCs since 2014 when he was the PP Gov­ern­ment’s Na­tion­al Se­cu­ri­ty Min­is­ter. APCs are built to trans­port pro­tec­tive ser­vices/troops and are geared for self-de­fence and to pro­tect pas­sen­gers from small-arms fire or shrap­nel.

As Min­is­ter, Grif­fith sparked con­tro­ver­sy in 2014 when he said six APCs were be­ing pur­chased to add to sim­i­lar car­ri­ers the De­fence Force pre­vi­ous­ly had. He said the APCs would be used for sit­u­a­tions in­clud­ing counter-ter­ror­ism ac­tiv­i­ty or bomb­in­gs, ex­plo­sive de­vices or hostages. He al­so planned to or­der 20 ar­moured ve­hi­cles, sim­i­lar to Sports Util­i­ty Ve­hi­cles (SU­Vs) with bul­let-proof glass were al­so be­ing ac­quired. It was es­ti­mat­ed one ve­hi­cle would have cost around $1 mil­li­on.

Grif­fith had said po­lice had come un­der gun­fire, with cars be­ing rid­dled with bul­lets and he’d said on­ly crim­i­nals should fear APCs. He not­ed APCs were used by Cana­di­an au­thor­i­ties in the Oc­to­ber in­ci­dent when Cana­da’s Par­lia­ment was at­tacked.

At the time then PNM PRO Faris Al-Rawi (now At­tor­ney Gen­er­al) had said the PNM was con­cerned as to “the mind and man­age­ment of na­tion­al se­cu­ri­ty op­er­a­tions, par­tic­u­lar­ly in view of the cat­a­stroph­ic de­tec­tion and con­vic­tion rate” and called on the PP to ad­dress par­tic­u­lars of na­tion­al se­cu­ri­ty as­sets.

Af­ter the PNM took of­fice, in May 2015, a spe­cial eval­u­a­tion com­mit­tee re­viewed the APC ac­qui­si­tion process and for­mer Na­tion­al Se­cu­ri­ty Min­is­ter Ed­mund Dil­lon said there’d been prob­lems with the ini­tial pro­cure­ment and APCs wouldn’t be ap­pro­pri­ate in ar­eas of TT. Grif­fith- then out of of­fice – ac­cused Dil­lon of hav­ing an “agen­da” of dis­man­tling ini­tia­tives of the pre­vi­ous gov­ern­ment. Dil­lon was re­placed by Stu­art Young as NS Min­is­ter in 2019 when Grif­fith was ap­point­ed Com­mis­sion­er.

Mean­while, Bud­get plans in­clude the up­grade of se­cu­ri­ty screen­ing equip­ment at Pi­ar­co and To­ba­go air­ports for the ca­pa­bil­i­ty of au­to­mat­ic ex­plo­sives de­tec­tion.

The TTPS was al­so al­lo­cat­ed $25m for Mo­bile De­vice Track­ing Sys­tems and pur­chase of Pub­lic Or­der Equip­ment in­clud­ing con­duc­tive en­er­gy de­vices (tasers), can­is­ter grenades, sock bean bags, launch­ers and pro­jec­tiles, seed pod launch­ers and rub­ber ba­tons, rub­ber pel­let grenades, pep­per spray and ri­ot gear kits – hel­mets, arm and chest shields and leg pro­tec­tion gear).

Fund­ing al­so in­clud­ed $1.5m for re­fur­bish­ing the Po­lice Com­mis­sion­er’s res­i­dence and $2m to re­fur­bish Po­lice Head­quar­ters.

This article was posted in its entirety as received by This media house does not correct any spelling or grammatical error within press releases and commentaries. The views expressed therein are not necessarily those of, its sponsors or advertisers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

For security, use of Google's reCAPTCHA service is required which is subject to the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

I agree to these terms.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.