Acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams said it would be unfair to expect instant results from the police with the Anti-Gang legislation.
He was speaking with Newsday last week at the Parliament building in Port of Spain before appearing before the Public Administration and Appropriations Committee.
He said the Anti-Gang legislation is a critical piece of law that will aid the police.
“Now what the media is expecting that we do what we did in 2011 – you know persons involved in criminal activity and you can clearly identify as gang members and you go and arrest them and charge them. Now if we do that we back to square one. The DPP (Director of Public Prosecutions) will throw out all the cases.”
Williams stressed the law was put into effect not on the date it was assented to but the date it was proclaimed.
“The 28th of May is the effective date of the Anti-Gang Act. So it is from the 28th of May you have to now focus on the offences and not offences which were committed before. Anything before doesn’t amount to an offence because the law came into effect on the 28th of May. So it’s events from the 28th of May onwards that you can now identify with the very said individuals out there we know are involved in gang and criminal activity.
“So it is kind of unfair to expect instant results. There is hope and I am saying there is optimism. And we are doing a lot of work all geared towards ensuring that in the very near future we can start to prosecute individuals under the Anti-Gang Act.”
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