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Dillon: More tools for cops to fight crime

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

National Security Minister Edmund Dillon is once again promising greater collaboration and more resources for the Police Service as he met with the executive arm and divisional commanders of the Police Service yesterday in the face of a growing number of murders across the country.

Dillon told the lawmen that the approach going forward will be based on cooperation and collaboration, and expressed Government’s desire to provide the necessary resources for the Police Service to perform its tasks efficiently and effectively.

In a similar meeting held on July 11, 2016, Dillon stated that the Ministry’s priority was to continuously provide all national security agencies involved in the provision of law and order, and emergency response with the proper tools, equipment, manpower and methods to effectively perform their duties.

Just last week, police said that the rapidity of homicides across the country was a burden to investigators who already have several outstanding cases. Over people have been murdered for the year, the majority of the victims were shot dead.

A senior officer told Guardian Media yesterday that one of the issues discussed was the need for more manpower, vehicles and equipment but given the state of the country’s finances, the police will continue with what they have now.

A release from the Ministry of National Security stated: “He (Dillon) noted the Ministry of National Security’s efforts in treating with financial considerations for priority areas including the acquisition of new police vehicles and the maintenance of existing ones. Further, he reiterated that the Ministry continues to focus considerable attention on ensuring that the Police Service has the required manpower, access to modern security methodologies, equipment and physical infrastructure to carry out its mandate to make Trinidad and Tobago a more secure place for all.”

Divisional commanders and some members of the TTPS executives declined to shed more light on the meeting, saying that the acting Commissioner of Police, Stephen Williams and Deputy Commissioner of Police, Crime, Harold Phillip would be the most appropriate senior officers to comment.

However, they could not be reached for comment yesterday.

The release listed the Port-of-Spain, Northern, Southern, Western and Central divisions as those areas with the highest murder rates. The meeting was called by Dillon to get an update on the anti-crime strategies being used in those divisions and to clarify the support and resources that is needed from the Ministry.

It also focused on proposed strategies for the upgrade of existing technological systems to assist in intelligence-gathering and crime detection and ways to increase cooperation among the players involved in the Government’s inter-agency approach to crime prevention.

Divisional Heads reported that there were improvements in the detection rate, firearm seizures, surveillance and monitoring mechanisms, evidence–gathering, mobile and foot patrols, joint police/army patrols, community engagement initiatives and crime prevention projects.


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