PORT OF SPAIN – Northern Division police have seized seven illegal guns in a week.
Speaking at a press conference at the Maloney Police Station Monday, division commander Senior Superintendent Simboonath Rajkumar said the guns were recovered between last Monday and yesterday during searches in crime “hot spots” in the division, which spans between St Joseph and Arima in east Trinidad.
The weapons haul comprised three pistols, two shotguns and a Russian-made AK-47 assault rifle, affixed with a bayonet, a knife or spear attached to the muzzle of a rifle, used for close-quarter combat.
A large quantity of assorted ammunition also was recovered. In addition to the illegal guns the division also destroyed 1,000 marijuana plants during an eradication exercise yesterday in a forested area of Lopinot. The drugs had a street value of $70,000, police said.
He said the division also had the highest detection rate for murders in T&T with 15 out of the 80 murders for the year being “solved.” He also stated there was a 20 per cent reduction in larceny and a 15 per cent reduction in robberies as his officers were also targeting repeat offenders living in the division.
Asked what were the strategies he employed to achieve the reduction, Rajkumar said he was holding senior officers, who managed police stations more accountable for crime and customer service in their areas, a similar tactic recently employed by National Security Minister Edmund Dillon to divisional commanders.
“We are using the softer approach to policing. We have walkabouts being done and all station commanders have been directed to commence walkabouts in the districts and engage the people and hear their concerns and to assist them in whatever areas they can. Rajkumar also issued a stern warning to would-be criminals in the area.