When Debra Vargas Guevara said goodbye to her husband, Air Guard Sgt Christian Guevara on Friday night, she never expected to wake up the next morning to the news that he was dead.
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Acting CoP: Only 35 serious crimes reported over Carnival
A total of 251 people were arrested by the police between J’Ouvert morning and midnight on Carnival Tuesday, according to acting police commissioner Stephen Williams. Williams and various heads under National Security attended the police press conference yesterday at the Police Administration Building, in Port-of-Spain. He said during the Carnival period, there were only 35 reports of serious crime, which was a decrease from the usual reports of criminal activity on a daily basis.
His statement came the day after National Security Minister Gary Griffith made the statement that this Carnival was one of the safest. “We are seeing a reduction in the number of murders...There is no increase,” he said. Williams said the six murders committed between Fantastic Friday and Carnival Tuesday were not Carnival-related but were “domestic issues.”
“We are proactive and are highly mobile and we are expanding the service by 1,000 police officers to assist us with a higher level of visibility. We changed our approach and have more active co-operation from our citizens for sharing information,” he said. He said the Police Service was grateful for the co-operation by citizens, tourists, all branches under National Security and other agencies who were involved in making the Carnival safe.
Members of the Licensing Department, Transit Unit, Municipal Police, Traffic Wardens, Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management and the Fire Services also assisted. Carnival gold commander deputy police commissioner Earl Gonzales said during the Carnival days 29 people were charged with driving under the influence. “We were glad for the support in the past few days and it was extremely safe, with the minimum of offences and disorder was minimal, and there was a decline in road traffic accidents,” he said.
He said there were 12 reports of traffic accidents and three firearms were recovered. Gonzales said many offenders were arrested for possession of narcotics, fighting and using obscene language. Chief of Defence Staff Major Gen Kenrick Maharaj said as well as covering the Carnival events, members of the Defence Force were also providing air assistance. He said the Coast Guard also had to monitor if there were any people attempting to leave Venezuela and enter local waters.
Garvin Heerah, director of the National Operations Centre (NOC), said the Carnival bands were monitored during that time by using a GPS tracker and marshals who were in contact with members of the NOC and others under National Security.