Police being assigned to secondary schools

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Police being assigned to secondary schools

In the wake of a spate of violence at Secondary schools across the country, a decision has been made to assign police officers at various schools.

Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) North East, Wayne Mystar, said it was part of the T&T Police Service’s (TTPS) effort to restore public faith and regain communities from gang elements.

Mystar, who made a surprise visit to the Five River Secondary school on Friday, said: “I am in the process of assigning police officers to schools, so we will have a particular officer adopting a school if you will and that police officer will go to those schools and work with the principals and deans and students to bring meaningful solutions to end school violence, bullying and so on.”

He admitted that in some areas within Five Rivers, there were challenges with gang activities.

“We have been gathering a lot of intelligence to deal with gangs in that area, so part of the walk-about is to let the public know that the TTPS is reclaiming some of the so-called areas that these gangs want to claim. Our main priority is to ensure that we bring security and safety to members of the public, so this is just the start of a lot of different things we will be doing.”

Mystar said, “I want to let persons know that we have adopted a zero (tolerance) policy as it relates to school violence. “Persons who engage in school violence may find themselves being arrested and may find themselves before the courts, so we are advising children to be on their best behaviours.”

He encouraged parents, “If you have issues with your children, the TTPS is available and you can come to us and ask for assistance. We have our community policing officers who can work with these children, the Victim Support Unit, the Child Protection Unit…so we are asking parents to seek that help.”

Mystar also warned parents not to engage in their own forms of justice.
“There is an instance where a parent went to a school on their own and that ended very messily. So, if there is an issue, the TTPS is available for all counselling and assistance.”

Mystar said: “We need the assistance of the public. It’s a partnership and once they help us, we will support them and together we can see this through.”