Police Complaints Authority
The Police Complaints Authority (PCA) is an independent corporate body mandated, among other things, to independently investigate complaints against police officers involved in criminal offences, police corruption and serious police misconduct.
The PCA was established by the Police Complaints Authority Act, 2006 to provide civilian oversight of law enforcement in Trinidad & Tobago.
No member of the Police Complaints Authority’s staff is attached to the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service, Special Reserve Police or Municipal Police Force.
Functions of the PCA
The PCA is given extensive functions under the Police Complaints Authority Act.
- To investigate criminal offences involving police officers, police corruption and serious police misconduct.
- To undertake inquiries into or audits of police activities to ascertain whether there is police corruption or serious police misconduct or circumstances that may apply to both.
- To monitor an investigation being conducted, in relation to criminal offences involving police officers, police corruption and/or serious police misconduct and to undertake audits of these investigations.
- To advise and make recommendations to the Police Service and other authorities, for e.g., the Police Service Commission, on ways in which police corruption and serious police misconduct may be eliminated.
- To gather evidence which may be admissible in the prosecution of a person, who is NOT a police officer, for a criminal offence in relation to the Police Service and to furnish that evidence to the Director of Public Prosecutions, or in the instance where an authority outside the State is concerned, the Attorney General.
- To gather evidence that may be used in investigating serious police misconduct and furnish such evidence to the Commissioner of Police or the Police Service Commission for appropriate action.
- To gather evidence that can be used in the prosecution of a police officer involved in a criminal offence and furnish such evidence to the Director of Public Prosecutions.
- To perform any other functions that may be conferred on the Authority by any other written law.
The Authority may conduct investigations, as it has, on its own initiative or on the basis of a complaint form:
- Any member of the public.
- A member of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service, Special Reserve Police or Municipal Police Force.
- Yes, police officers can make complaints to the PCA.
- Any public body or authority or
- An appropriate unit or disciplinary tribunal of the Police Service.
- The services of the Authority are free.
- Your complaint is investigated by highly trained investigators, who are not police officers.
- All complaints and evidence are strictly confidential.
- The Police Complaints Authority is neither a section nor division of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service, the Special Reserve Police nor the Municipal Police Force.