Griffith slams Hinds’ remarks –’70% recognise he has failed’

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Former police commissioner Gary Griffith. –

FORMER commissioner of police (CoP) Gary Griffith has slammed Minister of National Security Fitzgerald Hinds for saying 70 per cent of the population did not support him or the Government’s efforts to stem crime.

Addressing the handover ceremony of draft policies on Firearm Users Licences (FULs) and border security at his ministry on Monday, Hinds claimed Parliament was sometimes divided in fighting crime.

He said, “It would be nice if I felt I had all of your support in TT in the fight against criminals and criminality.

“So I say 50 per cent want to fight rather than join in the fight against crime and then the other 20 per cent I would say are those who are likely to commit crimes and be involved in it and anti-social behaviour.

“It will really be nice if we had full support but, even so, we understand the turf and understand what is required and fight on we will.”

Griffith issued a statement on Tuesday saying it was not a case of 70 per cent of citizens wanting Hinds to fail, but that 70 per cent had recognised he has failed.

He hit the minister’s briefing as having been “called by himself, so that himself’s staff could present himself with a policy document prepared by the same staff, so himself can pat himself on the back, so himself can feel better.”

“While him saying 70 per cent do not support him would probably grab headlines, it was his other statistic – that 20 per cent of all citizens are directly or indirectly involved in crime, that caught my attention.

“This means Hinds thinks one in every five persons in our country, about 280,000 people, are criminals.

National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds. 

“Disrespectful to say the least! I would be curious to know what people who felt my comments describing murderers, rapists and kidnappers as cockroaches, would feel about Hinds saying so many citizens are involved in crime.”

Griffith said in his tenure as CoP he had commanded 70 per cent support from the citizenry.

“Citizen support is there, and is likely as a result of track record and performance, not about hating or being for criminals. So any shortcomings, real or perceived, that Hinds is experiencing in support, says a lot about him…not the citizens.”

Griffith said Hinds had described the legal firearms process as mayhem.

“No, Hinds. Mayhem is your record since after taking over from Stuart Young as minister which has resulted in a total collapse in law enforcement and record highs in crime.

“Mayhem is public trust and confidence in the TTPS moving from 55 per cent to probably back below 14 per cent during your tenure.

“Mayhem is 586 murders from the beginning of September 2021 to the end of August, all whilst we speed to over 600 murders for the first time, in a calendar year, in our history.”

“Mayhem is constantly demonising legal firearms and those it protects, trying to deny citizens a fighting chance against criminals.”