South-western police are on the lookout for possible migration of criminals from hot spots into areas not covered by the curfew. A senior officer said since January they have arrested several people who reside outside the area for various crimes. He said because south-western may have less crime due to the curfew, there may be an influx of criminals into the area. "We have significantly cleaned up some of the notorious criminals in the area but what we are doing now is concentrating on migration," the officer said. "What we may see here is criminal moving from the hot spots into the peaceful and quiet areas, so we have set up a network with other divisions to bring about an overhaul of criminal activities.
"Since the beginning of the year, we have engaged in a number of anti-crime operations which have significantly reduced the number of criminal elements in the division." He said the state of emergency has allowed them to further clean up the division. South-western division officers, under the supervision of Insp Seedarie, set up roadblocks and carried out house searches from Wednesday night into yesterday morning. The officers conducted operations at strategic points in which 19 people were arrested for a various offences. Under Sgt Jones in the Point Fortin district, eight people were arrested.
In Penal, a team of officers led by Sgt Douglas detained five people and under Sgt Sookraj in Siparia, six were held.
Arrests were made for possession of cocaine and marijuana, robberies and break-ins. People believed to be involved in gang-related activities were also arrested. Police in the southern division executed warrant exercises in which eight people were arrested in Gasparillo and 11 in San Fernando. A few suspects, who were said to be well-known gang members, were picked up in Princes Town.Shortly after midday on Monday, Siparia police on mobile patrol arrested two men who they caught stealing iron from a property owned by T&TEC.