TRINIDAD – ‘Barbaric’
T&T acting police commissioner blasts Joseph’s death
PORT OF SPAIN –– Acting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams says the T&T Police Service will leave no stone unturned in solving the murder of WPC Nyasha Joseph, saying it was a “vicious” and “barbaric” act perpetrated against his charge.
“It [Joseph’s killing] has traumatised the nation and traumatised the entire police service, . . . such a vicious and barbaric act by individuals or individual is one which no one in this society would endorse and condone,” Williams said.
“As an organisation, the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service has been focusing on ensuring that we pursue this investigation with all our vigour to ensure that we can bring the perpetrators to justice within the shortest period of time.”
He made the comment at a news conference at the Scarborough Police Station yesterday, saying he was still trying to come to terms with the brutal killing of the 22-year-old police officer, which he said was especially horrifying given her youth.
Prior to the press conference, Joseph had held yet another in his series of inter-faith services with officers of the Tobago Division at the St Andrew’s Anglican Church, Scarborough. He has indicated that these services are being used to build morale among his charges.
Although tight-lipped about the stage of the investigation or the motive, he said people are still being questioned by investigators. He said, however, that the matter would be given special attention
“I want to give the public the assurance that we continue to focus on this investigation in a special way, because it is a police officer who has died, a special way, but we also continue to focus on other investigations in a special way,” Williams said.
“In this particular instance, the entire society has been traumatised and we have to lift our game to ensure that this crime is solved and the perpetrators are brought to justice within the shortest period of time.”
He added: “We have detained several persons. I will not give the names of those persons at this point in time. We have detained persons in this investigation and we are pursuing the investigation.”
Joseph went missing last Thursday and following days of unsuccessful searches for her body, fishermen on a trawler pulled up her body in the Gulf of Paria, near the mouth of the Caroni River, around 12:15 p.m. on Wednesday. Police say bricks were attached to her body to ensure that it sank to the bottom of the ocean. However, an autopsy yesterday proved inconclusive due to the state of decomposition of the body.
Yesterday, Williams also announced that the police service intends to cover the full funeral expenses for Joseph.
“I have not engaged in discussions with the mother of the deceased at this point, but we have been discussing in light of all the circumstances with this death, an extremely young officer, just passed out mere months ago, a young baby, the circumstance are such where we have to do something special and as the head of the organisation, we will undertake to cover the expenses of the funeral. I have not discussed it with the mother, but that’s what we intend to do,” he said.
Commenting on the existing crime situation in Trinidad and Tobago, and the police’s apparent inability to control the current scourge of murders, Williams said the situation is not out of control but rather a notion perpetuated by the media. He said compared to the same period in 2016, the country had seen less murders this year, adding there is continuous growth of connection between the citizens and the TTPS.
“There are less murders in 2017 at this point in time, than 2016 at this point in time, so the issue of things out of control as you describe it, it is not necessarily correct, we continue to work hard and we continue to receive the support of law-abiding citizens across this land,” Williams said.