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Plan still on for non-lethal weapons in crime fight

Published: 
Sunday, May 20, 2018
Members of team Love go through their routine during the National Security Sports and Family Day at the Prison Sports Club Grounds, Golden Grove, Arouca, yesterday. PICTURE ABRAHAM DIAZ

Police Commissioner Stephen Williams says although non-lethal weapons will be utlised by the T&T Police Service in the fight against crime, there is a set date for its introduction.

Williams yesterday said “Part of our challenge right now is resources and we are budgeting for it in fiscal 2019.” The new financial year begins in October 2018.

On the issue that criminals were using pepper spray to aid in attacks against innocent citizens, Williams said “There are no boundaries for the criminal element. The criminal element is free to use anything because they are not bounded by the law, so they break the law on an every-day basis.” He said the main issue remained one of enforcement.

Addressing reporters as he attended the Ministry of National Security’s Family Fun Day at the Prison Sports Grounds, Arouca, he said: “It is not necessary to look at the pepper spray in the hands of the criminal element because they have many many things in their hands and it is about enforcement against the criminal element.”

With the one-year mark fast approaching since the announcement by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley that consideration would be given to allow women to carry tasers and pepper spray, Williams said “It requires careful research and study and that is what we are doing at this moment before we can make any recommendations to Government.”

On the use of body cameras for police officers, Williams said although it had been implemented by the TTPS, plans were under way to expand the initiative following a recent partnership agreement with TSTT.

There are currently 100 body cameras in circulation.

Seeking to foster a greater sense of togetherness and unity among the employees of the nine divisions under his ministry, National Security Minister Edmund Dillion joined staff to dance in the rain as they sang along to this year’s theme of “Reunited and It Feels So Good.”

He said despite the economic hardships, “We felt we could still come together and enjoy ourselves.”

Dillion will meet with divisional commanders this week “to hear what’s happening in the various divisions and what do they need from the minister and Government in terms of resources and equipment and whatever else is required to ensure they keep the murder rate down.”

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