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Transparency International: T&T Police violated our civil liberties

Transparency International defines corruption as the abuse of entrusted power for private gain. This is a modern definition designed to reflect the multifarious facets of abuse of power. This line of reasoning is premised upon the idea that public official are trustees of the public good in respect of the powers which are bestowed upon them.

Yesterday morning much of Trinidad and Tobago left home to be greeted by gridlock traffic on the streets. The reason for this was a series of co-ordinated road blocks which were undertaken by the police at the major traffic arteries throughout the island and now reported as part of a Policing strategy. 

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago police on the move. (Courtesy Heritage Radio)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago police on the move.
(Courtesy Heritage Radio)

The police powers to stop and detain members of the public for the purpose of search are constrained within the law. A common thread of civil liberties law in functioning democracies has been the right and entitlement of citizens to move unhindered unless there are reasonable and probable grounds for suspecting them guilty of criminal behaviour. 

Any wholescale abrogation of this right, even where acting purportedly under law, can only be undertaken in urgent and overwhelming circumstances. If the actions are linked, as reported, to demands for increased wages, then these actions must be deemed to be an abuse of power.

It is incumbent upon the Commissioner of Police to investigate and take whatever actions are necessary to ensure that this situation is not repeated. 

About Transparency International

Transparency International
Our Mission is to stop corruption and promote transparency, accountability and integrity at all levels and across all sectors of society. Our Core Values are: transparency, accountability, integrity, solidarity, courage, justice and democracy.

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5 comments

  1. interesting to see if someone actually sues them.

  2. The leader of our nation should lead the way in ensuring this rape of our right to freedom of movement never happens again, not just the Commissioner of Police…has she responded in anyway?

  3. I used to think that T&T was one of the better developing countries but increasingly I’m seeing that our institutions function on the same incompetent and corrupt way that any backwoods, 3rd world, banana republic operates.