'This country is at war' – Police commissioner takes on critics

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According to the Trinidad Express, as the murder rate tumbles towards 500 for the year, and questions are being raised about the ability of the police and politicians to secure the lives of citizens, Police Commissioner Gary Griffith has issued a statement, saying that the county is now in a virtual war.

The following is his statement posted on the Facebook page of the Commissioner of Police.

I was trained to defend a country against armed conflict. What we are experiencing now is a virtual war. The enemy has the type of firepower and their tactics equate with what I faced when we fought the IRA whilst training in the UK. They adopt hit and run tactics.

The difference here in this war is that the rules of engagement are one whereby the enemy is trying to kill us and those we try to protect. When we try to protect them and ourselves by shooting back with accurate shots, we are condemned.

We are attacked based even on what we wear. The media spends more time finding anything to attack us instead of the real enemy. Many in the communities who lose loved ones by the same criminals, instead attack us, saying “all yuh too wicked”.

Politicians who when in Government, saw it fit to tilt the scales of justice towards law-abiding citizens, but when they go on the other side of the Parliamentary bench, get a change of heart and fight for the rights of criminals to be free, even if held with weapons of war. And the unkindest cut of all – in the history of all armed conflicts worldwide- this country has created history.

In our armed conflict, which is a virtual war zone, when we actually capture the enemy of the state, after being charged with gang activity and having firepower to kill hundreds in seconds, unlike prisoners of war who remain incarcerated until the armed conflict ends, we are directed to release them immediately, so they can go back unto the killing fields to lead their troops or be re-issued with assault rifles to turn again at our law enforcement officials in the war zone.

Then when the murder count rises, the Police is blamed. Every creed and race no longer has an equal place. Criminal elements now have more rights, hence throwing cold water to that line in our anthem. Regardless of the few detractors, and those who are in strategic positions to undermine what we are trying to achieve, including those in and out of uniform, I give the assurance that good would overcome evil. I would continue to do what is required to defend the 1.3 million-plus law-abiding citizens from the criminal elements and their strategic allies.

The more they target me, it means that we are starting to achieve our objective. We would overcome. We would win back our country.

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