Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith says a combination of technology and personnel has so far worked for the Carnival season making it one of the safest ever.
Griffith, accompanied by National Security Minister Stuart Young, was on a walkabout in downtown Port-of-Spain where hundreds of revellers drenched in mud, paint, and oil gyrated along the streets to blasting soca music.
Griffith said his officers had been working long before Carnival Monday as, “for the past few weeks, the TTPS has kicked into operation mode at 217 Carnival fetes so far.”
He said the pre-Carnival events as having been virtually incident free.
Griffith said in comparison to past Carnivals - they were aiming, “To ensure this becomes close, if not, the safest Carnival ever.”
The Commissioner reinforced the benefits being derived from the inclusion of technology to aid in crime-fighting efforts. This year, the TTPS has deployed several unmanned drones to help monitor revellers and will use a network of cameras to detect any notion of trouble.
Griffith also appealed to citizens to assist the police to help them.
“The TTPS is to be seen and not heard. The only time we need to be heard is if things happen outside of what is required. If all persons decide to adhere to what is required, we intend to be seen by ensuring high visibility to be a heavy deterrent,” he said.
“I think the success is there, so far, not just in the low amount of crime for Carnival we have seen so far, but the perception and fear of crime has been greatly reduced by many citizens who have stated this and we intend to continue doing this. We are not going to drop our guards.”
Griffith said officers had been deployed to strategic areas based on threat assessments conducted prior to Carnival.
National Security Minister Stuart Young commended Griffith for the heavy police presence which he said had made 2019 the safest Carnival yet.
Speaking to reporters around 8 am at South Quay, Port-of-Spain following a walk-about in Woodbrook, Young said he had been reassured as a citizen after witnessing the level of security blanketing the Carnival celebrations.
He said an unprecedented amount of uniformed and plainclothes officers had been assigned to the designated routes which had ensured the safety and security of revellers and spectators participating in J’Ouvert.
Young said the security contingent had been scheduled to witness a presentation at the National Operations Fusion Centre where they would see the security drones in action.
He said there had been a security apparatus upgrade ahead of Carnival which included the installation of approximately 150 new cameras in and around strategic places.
“Certainly, we are seeing the technology working. It is still early yet as it is only J’Ouvert and we have a little stretch to go still but I feel very good seeing the number of men and women in the TTPS.”
“They seemed to have listened to the Commissioner’s call and are out in their numbers today.”
Young said, “The public’s response has been very very positive. All you hear is Gary, Gary, so it has been very good.”