Police Commissioner Dwayne Gibbs says 315 people have been arrested since the institution of the state of emergency. Gibbs said from 8 am on Wednesday to 8 am yesterday, 183 people were arrested. He said daily crime had been substantially reduced. His message to the criminal elements who believed they could escape: "We are gonna come after you." He said of the 183 arrests, 59 were for gang-related activities; nine were for homicides; 17 for drug-related offences; 25 for breaches of the curfew; one firearm-related offence; six for serious offences and 66 for outstanding warrants. Gibbs was speaking at the post-Cabinet news briefing yesterday at the Office of the Prime Minister, St Clair.
It was the first time a Police Commissioner spoke at a post-Cabinet news briefing. Gibbs said: "It brings our total up to 315 people arrested since the state of emergency was placed into effect and 115 of those arrests were gang-related. Again, we are seeing some success. "Our crime rate, in terms of the daily crime that is occurring, is substantially reduced and we are starting to see some gains in terms of the gang-related targets." Gibbs said the 315 arrested people were still in custody at holding bay cells throughout the country. He added: "We are working to put the people that have been arrested, that will be charged, through to the prisons' system.
"Those that are being detained, we'll look to see if there is any reason to continue to hold them and we will release them accordingly." Gibbs said he "mis-spoke" on Wednesday when he said the curfew was enforced throughout T&T. He said his intent was to say the state of emergency was throughout the country. Chief of Defence Staff Brigadier Kenrick Maharaj, who also attended the post-Cabinet meeting, said the units of army conducted 36 mobile patrols throughout T&T. He said there were "stop-and-search' operations in Diego Martin, Maraval and Port-of-Spain. Maharaj said: "In the Port-of-Spain area we had two arrests of persons who were in possession of illegal drugs.
"Cause and searches were done in Marabella, Claxton Bay, Longdenville and Chaguanas." A number of vehicular searches were done but no arrests were made in St Augustine, Sea Lots, Belmont, Woodbrook, St James and Cocorite, Maharaj said. Gibbs said "a large drug trafficker" also was arrested from Tobago. He said the person was a Trinidadian. "For those that think they can escape the net that we are putting out there, I just want to say go ahead and try, we are gonna come after you," Gibbs added.