TTPS urges state witnesses to stay in Witness Protection

Thursday, November 28, 2019 - 12:00

The Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) is urging citizens who have been placed in witness protection, to stay there while they need that special cover.

The appeal comes in the wake of the murder of 44-year-old Raffick Hosein, of Fitts Road, Biche.

He was gunned down at his Biche home at about 3:30 on Wednesday afternoon.

He was a state witness in a double murder case and had been receiving death threats.

Police say he seldom left his home.

TTPS spokesman, Sergeant Ashraf Ali, notes that many persons don't believe they need the special protection guaranteed under the State Witness Protection Programme.

However, he points out that state witnesses can only be kept safe, if they allow the state to put them in special protective custody.

“Staying in the witness programme means that first things first, we have done an assessment—a risk assessment—indicating that you need to be in the State Witness Programme. That is why you are brought in there. And you need to honour that and remain there.

He adds: “Persons really need to make a decision—a choice—because we can only protect you if you will want us to protect you.”

Meanwhile, as the country, and the world, continue to observe 16 days of activism for an end to violence against women, the TTPS is reminding family members, friends and neighbours to report possible cases of domestic violence, so that the police can help the possible victims in that situation.

Sergeant Ashraf Ali says far too often, people are aware of what is happening, but fail to report it before fatal consequences occur.

“Unfortunately, sometimes you hear after the fact that the entire village knows that this individual has been suffering for the past five or six or seven years under this situation. But no one in the village—no one in the community—actually reported the incident to anybody. Under the Domestic Violence Act, you don’t have to be the victim to report it for the police to take action. A concerned citizen, a concerned neighbour or a family member can report a possible domestic violence situation, for us to act.”

The TTPS spokesman is encouraging citizens to report possible domestic violence cases via the TTPS’ new mobile app, under the section titled ‘Gender Based Violence’.

Sergeant Ali says each report is treated with discretion and urgency.


Story by NEWS DESK