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Police say they have intensified their patrols in Laventille following the murder of Lance Cpl Kayode Thomas at Beverly Hills on Sunday night. However, the statement yesterday by police public information officer Inspector Wayne Mystar contradicts that of residents who say it is not police but soldiers who are patrolling.
Asked about the patrols by the Defence Force during yesterday’s weekly police press briefing, Mystar said: “There has not been an intensification. That is not a correct statement. The Police Service and Defence Force are working together in our joint army patrols. “They go under the 24/7 patrols and they go under the Inter-Agency Task Force and we continue to collaborate with the Defence Force.”
When the T&T Guardian visited Beverly Hills and adjoining Laventille communities yesterday, there was constant patrolling by regiment officers, without the assistance of police. Some were seen in vehicle 3TTR153 patrolling St Paul Street, Clifton Street, Clifton Lane, Rodney Street and Beverly Hills. Others were on the top floor of the Spree Simon Flats with binoculars. Residents complained on Monday they had been beaten by masked men wearing army camouflage at nights, with no police.
“What we did is that we intensified the operation and it would last as long as it takes to deal with that situation and it may intensify more,” Mystar said He added the intensity had nothing to do with Thomas’ killing but was part of a continued effort to make the areas safe and secure as all homicides were treated with urgency and concern. Around 11.30 pm on Sunday, Thomas was driving along Plaisance Quarry Road, John John, when a group of men stepped in front of his Mazda 323 and opened fire.
Thomas, who was heading to the Beverly Hills home of his mother, ran off the road and crashed. He died at the scene. Police found 30 spent shells.