New Commissioner of Police, Gary Griffith, has created a new hotline for serious crime, which is meant to supersede traditional TTPS public numbers such as 800-TIPS.
In a release by the Police Service’s Corporate Communications Unit, citizens were asked to send a text or WhatsApp message to 482-GARY (4279) if they have information on “who the criminals are, where the drugs and illegal guns are entering the country and who has committed a serious crime, particularly murder.”
The new measure is supposedly aimed at “building public trust in the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service” by essentially bypassing the current structure and going straight to the CoP.
According to the TTPS, information sent to 482-GARY would be “be treated with the strictest confidence, without any risk to their safety.”
The Police Service did not say why 482-GARY would be more secure than 800-TIPS and whether Griffith intends to use the same staff that operated the previous hotline number, would hire new personnel, or intends to monitor the messages himself.
Commissioner of Police, Gary Griffith, has opened a direct and confidential line of communication with the public, to enable persons to share information on criminal activities. This new initiative is aimed at building public trust and confidence in the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service, in the areas of crime prevention and detection.
Commissioner Griffith points out that, “There are many law abiding citizens who have information on – who the criminals are, where the drugs and illegal guns are entering the country and who has committed a serious crime, particularly murder.”
In establishing a direct line of contact with the Commissioner of Police, via text or Whats App messaging on 482-4279, Commissioner Griffith affirmed that this avenue would provide assurance to persons, reluctant to come forward with information for fear of reprisal, that their information would be treated with the strictest confidence, without any risk to their safety.
“As the Commissioner of Police, I intend to rectify this concern and find avenues to allow citizens to forward such vital information, which would play a critical role in preventing a serious crime from being committed, and also if one is committed, that the perpetrators can be brought to justice, as there is no such thing as the perfect crime, and on most occasions, a third party would have some knowledge of who the criminal may be,” said Commissioner Griffith.
Through this new messaging service that has been introduced, the Commissioner is requesting members of the public provide additional information to what would normally be made available via the 800-TIPS and 555 numbers, where only information surrounding the alleged criminal acts, was given.
Commissioner Griffith is requesting the following from all law abiding citizens:
- Information on any pending serious criminal act to be committed;
- Information on the perpetrators of a serious crime that has taken place.
According to the Commissioner of Police, the use of 482-4279 for the purpose of receiving information confidentially, from members of the public, is an interim measure, as a long term system is developed.
The Commissioner of Police reiterates that such information be sent directly to him via WhatsApp or text messaging only to 482-4279.