Acting Commissioner condemns vigilante justice

Tuesday, June 5, 2018 - 13:45

Acting Police Commissioner, Stephen Williams, is cautioning members of the public against engaging in acts of vigilantism.

This follows the death of Ashdale McHutchinson, 47, who succumbed to injuries at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex on Sunday 3rd June, 2018, after being beaten by a group of persons at Oropune Gardens, Piarco, on Wednesday 30th May, 2018.

With the death of McHutchinson, the matter has been elevated to a murder investigation, which is being conducted by the Homicide Bureau of Investigations.

Commissioner Williams affirmed in a statement today, that the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service neither supports nor condones any form of so-called ‘vigilante justice’.

He notes that while the law provides authority for citizens to effect what is referred to as a ‘citizens’ arrest’ for an arrestable offence, those provisions do not authorise citizens to use more force than is necessary, in effecting such an arrest - per the Criminal Law Act Chap.10:04 S.3.

An arrestable offence is an offence of a serious nature, for which the law provides a penalty of at least five years imprisonment; and would include offences such as robbery, rape, burglary and breakings and serious reports of wounding.