Police offer tips on identifying fakes

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

A screengrab of a robbery by bandits dressed as police at a home in Chase Village, on Saturday. –

POLICE are advising the public to, as much a possible, comply with instructions given by armed individuals to “minimise injury or loss of life.”

This after several recent incidents where people dressed as police officers attempted to enter homes or commit robbery.

In a statement on Tuesday, the police assured the public it was actively pursuing leads in the robbery in the Central Division on Saturday and all other like reports, where the perpetrators were dressed in police wear.

Around 4.40pm on Saturday, owner of the R Maye Hardware, Double Palm Guest House chains and Hanggers Extreme Restaurant and Bar, Rajendra Maye, was robbed of money and jewellery at his Chase Village, Chaguanas home.

He said around 4.40 pm four armed men dressed in police uniforms entered his home, tied up his wife and daughter’s boyfriend, and took daughter to get the family’s valuables at gunpoint.

Also, over the weekend security footage circulated on WhatsApp showing men in police uniforms driving to a house in Cascade and asking the owner to let them in. The owner refused and the men left in a waiting car.

There was also an incident on August 10 where three armed suspects, allegedly dressed in police uniforms robbed two truck drivers in Morvant of hundreds of cases of alcoholic beverages.

The statement said, “When approached by an armed individual, if there is an opportune time so to do, you can place an immediate call to 999, leave the call running and during the call mention your location and the type of vehicle the persons are using, don’t hang up the phone.”

It suggested victims could also call a police station.

It advised that, on most occasions, when police officers execute a search warrant at a home, there were usually officers dressed in the grey and blue uniform, and marked police vehicles with sirens and flashing lights were used.

“TTPS-issued badges are worn by officers and police officers who are known in the area and have long-standing relationships within the community are also present to give legitimacy to the exercise.”

It added that it was an offence to impersonate a police officer according to Section 62 of the Police Service Act Chapter 15:01.

The Act said: A person, other than a police officer, who without the written authority of the Commissioner –

(a) puts on or assumes, either in whole or in part, the uniform, name, designation or description of a police officer, or a uniform, name, or designation, resembling and intended to resemble the uniform, name or designation of a police officer; or

(b) in any way pretends to be a police officer for any purpose which he would not by the law be entitled to do of his own authority

is liable on summary conviction to a fine of thirty thousand dollars and to imprisonment for three years.