Following his ‘gang’ outburst… DAVID WEST TO GET THE AXE?

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Following his recent remarks that the Police Service was the biggest “gang”, David West is now hanging by the thread to keep his job.

Insiders say that the Police Second Division Welfare Association is planing to write to President Anthony Carmona to fire West as Director of the Police Complaints Authority (PCA).

But although West has issued an apology (sic), President of the Association, Michael Seales, is not letting that go.

“I will not respond to that, I will respond next week ….because next week, he will not be the PCA director anymore,” Seales stated. On Friday, West had said, “this gang” in reference to the TTPS, “is left untouched and there have been no prosecutions”.

He made the statements at a discussion titled “Eat and Tweet: Anti- Corruption Debate” held at the British High Commissioner’s Residence, Beaumont Road, Maraval.

The debate was held in observance of International Anti-Corruption Day. Stuart Young, Minister in the Ministry of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs, Dion Abdool, chairman of the Trinidad and Tobago Transparency Institute, and Richard Blewitt, UN Resident Co-ordinator and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative, sat on a panel leading the debate on corruption in TT.

In an emailed statement yesterday, the Communications Unit of the PCA quoted West as saying, “I apologise for the statement as having come over as an indictment against the entire TTPS. I ought to have said that there is an element of rogue officers within the service who have to be removed and brought before the courts.”

The Communications Unit went on to say that “the director recognizes that there are many committed, honest and law abiding police officers who put their lives on the line every day in the fight against crime. The Director reassures the public that matters that come to the PCA are dealt with independently and impartially and that the Authority allows the rules of natural justice and due process to prevail.”

Seales said the statement went viral and he was “inundated with telephone calls.” He declined to give details of the conversation with West but said he “expressed regret for making the statement.”

Asked whether the apology was accepted, Seales said it was not up to him but the general membership of the Police Service to either accept or reject it. He said a decision will be taken following the determination of a court matter involving Ag Inspector Ian Carty on December 19.

“I have nothing to say as yet, after the 19th (December), because there’s a case that is going on, that is to be completed in which he (West) is the complainant, after that he may not be the PCA director.”

Seales was referring to a matter involving Carty of the Court and Process Department in Port-of -Spain which is expected to end on that date. Carty’s charges relate to failing to co-operate with the PCA on the Day of Total Policing which was held on March 23, 2015 and which resulted in traffic gridlock virtually shutting down the capital city. Carty, who is also a trustee on the PSWA, was subsequently arrested and charged .

The PSWA president said he is expecting a favourable outcome. Following the court’s ruling , Seales said he and his executive would meet to discuss the way forward.

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         DAVID WEST                         MICHAEL SEALES

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