Municipal police join in anti-crime initiative
By RICHARDSON DHALAI Thursday, August 22 2013
Three robbery suspects were held and a vehicle seized during a “stop and search” conducted yesterday in Chaguanas by a joint task force of municipal police officers from the various municipal corporations.
The exercise, which was conducted along the Montrose main road, involved approximately 20 police officers, who also seized two cutlasses which were hidden in the tray of a black Nissan Navara vehicle. The officers also discovered the left side back window smashed as pieces of glass were strewn on the base of the vehicle while a large rock was still lodged under one of the front seats.
Meanwhile, Port-of-Spain City police ag ASP Glenn Charles, speaking to reporters during the exercise, said it was part of an anti-crime initiative by the municipal police and, due to the severe manpower shortage, they had joined forces with their Chaguanas counterparts to conduct the exercise.
“Members of the different municipalities, the municipal police service have come together to assist the police service in Chaguanas, in this initiative to reduce crime,” he said.
The exercise got underway from 9am along the Chaguanas main road and market in which 13 persons were arrested for illegal vending, and other offences.
Charles added, “Roughly about 35 officers from different municipalities were involved in today’s exercise. We have people from Port-of-Spain, as far back as Point Fortin and Arima, and we are saying, we have crime in Port-of-Spain; we have crime in Couva, and we have crime in Diego Martin, all of us are in partnership to assist each other because presently the municipal police is understaffed,” he said.
“So we decided to assist each other by lending the human resource, the manpower to reduce crime, we have a contribution to play and we continue to play our contribution and we want to see Trinidad and Tobago become a better place for all of us to live in and our families to be safe,” Charles added.
Asked about the staff shortages, Charles described the figures as “very frightening” saying stations like Tunapuna had only two police officers while Diego Martin had only four police officers.”
He said the ideal amount of officers would be in the vicinity of 30 officers as the municipal corporation boundaries were “very wide.”
Charles said similar exercises would be conducted in other municipalities, including Arima and Port-of-Spain, saying officers would be “taking a zero tolerance approach in respect of all illegal criminal activity.”
However, Charles said municipal police officers had not been awarded the $1,000 bonus given to police officers in the last budget, and issued a plea for similar treatment to be given to them as well.
“The municipal police are out here, and we are paying our contribution in respect to the reduction of crime, we also play a pivotal role in society, and all we are asking for is the one thousand dollars allowance as well.” He said they were also exposed to the same risks as other law enforcement officers. He said the exercise had also netted two persons from the Beetham Gardens saying “plenty” guys had reportedly migrated from the capital city to escape the police crackdown.
Charles said there was also a need to link the municipal police and the TT Police Service. Approximately 60 traffic tickets were also issued during yesterday’s exercise.