“Is the prostitution of the police by the political directorate such that the police are only animated to act effectively when a Minister of Government is affected by crime? The country ravaged by criminal activities including brutal killings have not seen similar alacrity by the police to solve these crimes that affect the normal citizens.”
The following Letter to the Editor on the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service’s successful and speedy effort in retrieving a phone stolen from Adrian Imbert, the son of Finance Minister Colm Imbert, was submitted to Wired868 by UNC Senator Devant Maharaj:
The population can have comfort knowing that the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) has the ability and capacity to solve crimes against the person in a timely and effective manner. The very recent example of the recovery of the son of the Minister of Finance Colm Imbert, Adrian Colm Imbert was an impressive feat of criminal detection.
Only Last Friday Adrian Colm Imbert, was driving his white Hilux pickup along the Eastern Main Road, Laventille was held up and robbed. Imbert was robbed of a cellphone valued $5,000 and a of cash. Immediately following this heinous crime several areas in Beetham were searched.
On Monday police locked down several parts of Beetham Gardens and executed a search warrant at the house where a phone was found. In fact agents from at least two elite units, dealing with the gathering of data for National Security purposes, were involved in the investigations.
Public outcry against this apparent bias on the part of the Government as no similar enthusiasm when crimes are committed against normal average citizens. When Ria Sookdeo was kidnapped a year ago, no Elite Units of the Police was deployed.
Is the prostitution of the police by the political directorate such that the police are only animated to act effectively when a Minister of Government is affected by crime? The country ravaged by criminal activities including brutal killings have not seen similar alacrity by the police to solve these crimes that affect the normal citizens.
In addition to the issue of the police not being equally interested in crimes against the population as they are in crimes against politically connected, did the police act in a lawful manner to make find the cellphone of Minister Imbert’s son? While the police executed a search warrant to search the premise of the suspected thieves of the cell phone, how did the police arrive at the exact location of the cellphone?
Given the elite units are involved in data gathering for National Security it is reasonable to assume that technology was utilised to located the cellphone. If so did the police obtain the required Warrant for Interception?
The Interception of Communications Chap. 15:08 Section 8 (1) clearly states:
8. (1) Subject to this section, an authorised officer mayapply ex parteto a Judge for a warrant authorising the person named in the warrant—
(a) to intercept, in the course of their transmission by means of a public or private telecommunications network, such communications as are described in the warrant; and
(b) to disclose the intercepted communication to such persons and in such manner as may be specified in the warrant.
Further the Interception of Communication Act 15:08 Section 8 (3) outlines the method in which an application for a Warrant for Interception is unambiguous when it states:
(3) An application for a warrant under this section shall, subject to section 11, be in the to section 11, be in the form set out in Schedule 1 and be accompanied by—
(a) a declaration in the form set out in Schedule 2 deposing to the following matters:
(i) the name of the authorised officer and the entity on behalf of which the application is made;
(ii) the facts or allegations giving rise to the application;
(iii) sufficient information for a Judge to issue a warrant on the terms set out in section 9;
(iv) the period for which the warrant is requested;
(v) the grounds relied on for the issue of a warrant under subsection (2); and
(vi) if the applicant will be seeking the assistance of any person or entity in implementing the warrant, sufficient information for a Judge so to direct in accordance with section 9(3); and (b) a statement signed by the Minister where the warrant is applied for on the ground of national security, authorising the application on that ground.
While it is true that Section 11.(1) allows for an oral application “Where a Judge is satisfied that the urgency of the circumstances so requires—(a) he may dispense with the requirements for a written application and a declaration and proceed to hear an oral application for a warrant; and (b) if satisfied that a warrant is necessary as mentioned in section 8(2), he shall issue a warrant in accordance with this Act.”
Did the police service, the elite police service apply and obtain a Warrant for Interception as required by law in order to assist in the detection and recovery of the cellphone of the Minister Colm Imbert’s son? If so the police should share the detailed nature of the application.
If the police did not utilize any technology to detect and locate the cellphone of the Minister Imbert’s son, then the police also have a similar responsibility to explain to the population the details of this detection and if they ever recovered any other stolen cellphones for members of the public with this method.
While it is commendable that the police solved this criminal act, what was the process used and was it in conformity with the laws of Trinidad and Tobago, and why are the police not similarly effective with crimes regarding the average citizen?
Editor’s Note: TTPS head of corporate communications, Ellen Lewis, told the Trinidad Guardian that Adrian Imbert did not get special treatment after a joint exercise involving the Port of Spain Division and Cyber Crime Unit retrieved his stolen phone in two days.
“I can say with certainty there was no special interest paid to this matter. None whatsoever. There are real examples of police successes where the use of technology was involved in solving crime… whether it be stolen computers, laptops, tablets and cell phones.
“We treat impartially and objectively with reports that come in relative to crimes that were committed.”