Senior cop: TTPS response to fake police robbery unacceptable

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

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ACTING Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Wendell Williams said the response time of officers in the Central Division to a report that men in what appeared to be police uniforms were robbing a family was “unacceptable.”

Speaking at the police weekly media briefing on Thursday, Williams said the response time for calls is something the police are addressing and have been for some time.

On August 20, four armed men in police tactical wear robbed the owner of R Maye Hardware, Double Palm Guest House chains and Hanggers Extreme Restaurant and Bar, Rajendra Maye and his family. They were robbed of money and jewellery at their home in Chase Village, Chaguanas.

Maye said around 4.40 pm the four men entered his home, tied up his wife and daughter’s boyfriend, and took his daughter to get the family’s valuables at gunpoint.

In a television interview he said his neighbours and family called police from the Central Division, but by the time they arrived, the bandits had already commandeered a vehicle and escaped.

“The police have a clear objective set in terms of our response time that speaks to our patrol policy and the issues around it. It is a work in progress. We know where we are in terms of average response time and we know what we are working towards in terms of bringing that response time down,” Williams said when asked about the time it took for police to respond, adding that steps are being taken to correct undue delay.

Maye said before the men left his premises a call was made to E-999 and the Chaguanas Police Station. Officers there said they were going to notify their colleagues at the Freeport Police Station. Maye said police at the Freeport station hung up on them twice.

While this was going on the bandits were blocked from leaving because one of Maye’s hardware trucks was preventing their getaway vehicle from leaving.

Williams added: “What was reported does give the indicator that there was an unacceptable lapse of time, and so we are treating with that. We are treating with it and more so because it involves persons using apparel purporting to be police officers. That is something we take personally because it puts each of us who are really standing to protect and serve.”

Williams added that police are working on several leads, but up to Thursday no one was arrested.