Police Commissioner Gary Griffith has raised the country’s policing status to red alert until Tuesday. This follows the arrests of more than 150 people for various offences including possession of firearms and ammunition.
Throughout the long Easter weekend police officers, including the Special Operations Response Team, will conduct random stop and search and Operation Strike Back (OSB) exercises at strategic locations across the country.
OSB exercises in the nine police divisions between April 14 and 17 resulting in the arrests of 161 people. The exercises were led by Commissioner Griffith and supervised by the ACP Crime and Operations, Regional ACPs and divisional commanders. The suspects were taken to various police stations pending further enquiries and charges.
In an unrelated stop and search exercise on Thursday at about 11 pm, police found 23 packages of marijuana hidden in speaker boxes in a car travelling from Moruga. The two occupants—a 33-year-old from Enterprise and a 24-year-old from Longdenville—were arrested and up to press time were in police custody assisting in further enquiries.
The exercise was carried out by officers of the Southern Division Joint Army and Police (JAPS), including PCs Phagoo and Bissoon. They stopped and searched a white 323 Mazda PCC 7934 driven by a 24-year-old man from Mudd Lane, Longdenville, along La Ruffin Road. The officers checked a music speaker box in the trunk of the car and found 23 sealed packages with a total weight of 12.24 kilogrammes of compressed marijuana.
Griffith last increased the policing status to red alert in February following a spate in murders in Laventille, East Port-of-Spain and Sea Lots. A number of persons of interest were held for questioning during that period, including gang members and police officers suspected of being involved in criminal gangs.