Police Commissioner Erla Harewood-Christopher has assured citizens that law-enforcement is working towards stemming the current rise in murders and criminal activity.
During her appearance before the Joint Select Committee (JSC) on National Security on Wednesday, Harewood-Christopher said taking illegal guns off the streets has been a top priority for the service.
“As an organisation we are focusing on providing that visibility, we are focusing on retrieving illegal firearms,”
Committee Chairman Keith Scotland noted that the more illegal firearms seized by the police meant that there were fewer weapons in the hands of criminals to carry out murders and other violent crimes.
“Additionally, we are targeting all prolific offenders… in the population of 1.3 or 1.4 million people we have just about 300 persons who are causing the mayhem. So, we are focusing our attention on these persons,” Harewood-Christopher continued.
Scotland questioned the feasibility of a gun amnesty to aid in reducing the number of illegal firearms in circulation, but Senior Superintendent Curt Simon said the measure has failed to achieve this outcome.
“We do our research within the TTPS, and we have found that amnesties do not necessarily tend to impact crime in terms of reduction. In fact, it seems to provide an escape route for persons,” Simon said.
“The amnesty is now caused to be negated. So, it’s not something that the TTPS really wishes to go after,” he said.
JSC Member Dr Roodal Moonilal pointed to the rise in incidents involving fake officers. He said the occurrence has caused people to become wary of bona fide officers carrying out their duties.
In response the Police Commissioner said officers have been instructed to wear their official police uniforms with their identification badges displayed to assure the public that they are legitimate law enforcement personnel.
The top cop pointed to the sale – albeit illegal – of operational wear to the public at some stores as being a part of the problem. She called for sanctions to be put in place to address the issue.