PORT OF SPAIN –– The T&T Police Service (TTPS) yesterday announced an 11 per cent reduction in serious crimes during this year’s Carnival celebrations.
Acting Deputy Commissioner of Police Deodat Dulalchan made the announcement while addressing reporters at the TTPS’s post-Carnival press briefing at Police Administration building, in Port of Spain.
“The TTPS wishes to state that Carnival 2017 was very good from a policing standpoint,” Dulalchan said as he revealed that there were only 15 serious crimes reported within Carnival celebrations across T&T from Sunday night to Tuesday night. There for 24 reported incidents for the same period last year.
Of the reported crimes which took place in designated Carnival zones, there were three shootings, three woundings, seven robberies, one stolen vehicle and one murder.
On Carnival Monday, 57-year-old retired solider Calvert James was stabbed to death during an incident at Prince Street in Port-of-Spain.
In total during the period, 182 persons were arrested across T&T for various offences including petty robberies, weapon possession and driving under the influence.
“I am pleased to indicate that there was not one single reported incident of a sexual offence against a woman,” Dulalchan said.
While he praised masqueraders for co-operating with the police, Dulalchan said the incidents included two in which police officers were victims of assaults during J’Ouvert celebrations.
In one incident off-duty SRP Tyler Scipio was stabbed in his shoulder during a botched robbery near Sagicor Building, Queen’s Park West in Port-of-Spain. In the other incident, a constable was assaulted by two men when he attempted to quell a disturbance in a J’Ouvert band in Tobago. The suspects were arrested shortly after.
“Here it is a police officer and his colleagues were there to ensure masqueraders and onlookers have a safe and secure Carnival and he entered into the band to assist in managing a fracas and he was assaulted by two men. That act is one we condemn and indicate that those sort of behaviour will not be tolerated,” Dulalchan said.
There were two road fatalities on Monday, of which one of the victims was a police officer. PC Sherwin Cedeno died in a crash along the Solomon Hochoy Highway near to the Macaulay Flyover, while 24-year-old Dillon Torres, of Cunupia, died hours later in crash near the Prisons’ Sports Club in Piarco.
Questioned on the National Carnival Commission (NCC)’s warning that bands and their masqueraders found defacing property, Dulalchan noted that there were no reports of vandalism in Port-of-Spain. He said a handful of music trucks were impounded after they were found to be operating without licences.
Asked if there was room for improvement in the TTPS’s management safety at annual festival, Dulalchan said the organisation had a minor issue of eight and nine per cent absenteeism during Carnival festivities.
“We encourage our officers to be patriotic and come out and stand tall but it is something that happens. I think we can look a bit deeper to find out the reasons so next year there will be a reduction in this. One would hate to believe that our officers would report sick to play mas,” he said.