Commissioner of Police Erla Harewood-Christopher has vowed to make Central and the rest of T&T safe.
Hailing from the Central area herself, Harewood-Christopher made the assurance today, while addressing a breakfast meeting of the Chaguanas Chamber of Industry and Commerce.
She said the Police Service will be targeting dangerous criminals in its bid to reduce crime, adding that the principle of ‘precision policing’ would be applied to crime fighting efforts.
“There are a few of what I would call prolific offenders who are responsible for the violent crime within our communities,” she said. “Our intelligence would tell us the particular places and the particular time, so what we will focus on is policing these violent persons, and places at the particular times.”
Harewood-Christopher added: “Criminal gangs and drugs have been responsible for 65 percent of the drugs and murders in T&T.“87 percent of the murders committed in 2022 were committed with firearms. So far in 2023, we have recovered some 3,000 rounds of ammunition and 156 illegal guns.”
The top cop said: “We would be working feverishly to regain the trust and confidence of the public, and we want to have an increased police presence and visibility.”
The top cop revealed that she wants each police station to host a town meeting every month to meet with residents, to give some level of assurance to the communities.
She said she will be taking a zero-tolerance policy towards corruption in the TTPS:
“I want the citizens to know and feel secure that they can report, and I know a number of officers in the Central Division have been charged for corruption.”
“We have been able to manage the other serious crimes, but the murders are still a little beyond us,” she admitted. “But we know and you know that we cannot really stop the murders—it takes an entire country. We can do our part, we will work towards making it a little more difficult for the occurrence—providing the visibility, removing the firearms. But you realize when the firearm is not available… then the cutlass… the knives.”
The Commissioner even appealed to those who are spiritually inclined, saying “We must recognize that this is beyond the physical and unless we seek the intervention of that Greater Spirit. Unless we enlist the help of God, we will be working in vain.”