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Don’t drink and drive for New Year

Wednesday, January 1 2014

The Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) yesterday assured members of the public they will be out in their numbers to ensure citizens obey the laws against drinking and driving for New Year celebrations.

Inspector Wayne Mystar said the TTPS’ breathalyser technicians will be out and he urged members of the public to be safe on the roads.

Speaking yesterday at the weekly police briefing at Police Administration Building, corner of Edward and Sackville streets, Port-of-Spain, Mystar also urged persons to avoid distractions while driving and switch off their cell phones. He also asked persons to conduct regular maintenance of their vehicles as a defective one could cause an unnecessary collision. Mystar also asked that pedestrians utilise walk-overs and pelican crossings.

Meanwhile, acting Superintendent Joanne Archie yesterday warned against persons discharging firearms into the air to celebrate the New Year.

She said they have received reports of people engaging in the extremely dangerous practice. She said there were many ways to celebrate the New Year with a bang other than with the use of a firearm.

She warned persons that it was against the law to transfer a firearm or to discharge a firearm within 40 metres of any public road. She said under Section 103 of the Summary Offences Act it states, “where any person who discharges any gun, pistol, or other firearm in any street or within 60 feet of the centre of such street, except on some lawful and necessary occasion or when acting under a power conferred by any Act, can be liable to a fine of $400 once found guilty.”

Archie said this was an irresponsible act and it posed a danger to the lives of persons in the immediate vicinity.

Commenting on the use of fireworks, she advised that under Sections 99 and 100 of the Summary Offences Act 11:02, it is an offence to throw, cast, set fire to, or let off any fireworks into, or upon any street not being in any town or upon any place being within 60 feet of the centre of any such street. Anyone who contravenes this law is liable to a fine of $400.

Archie said the TTPS was committed to preventing and reducing crime and the fear of crime. She admitted they have had challenges as it relates to homicides. She said for 2014, they remain committed to reducing the homicide rate and increasing detection.

She noted that while they were not celebrating, there has been significant reductions in various crimes for 2013. She said there was a 41 percent reduction in kidnappings, 33 percent reduction in burglaries and break-ins, 34 percent reduction in robberies, 29 percent reduction in larcenies, 24 percent in fatal road traffic accidents and 16 percent in road traffic accidents.

Archie said for 2013, there were 12,800 serious crimes which represents the largest decrease in the TTPS’ history. She said that was the lowest record for the past 29 years.

Archie assured members of the public that they will continue to do all within their powers to reduce crime and the fear of crime.

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