The major discovery of a large cache of arms and ammunition made by police and Customs officers at the Piarco International Airport is evidence that criminal elements are still determined to carry out their nefarious activities, hoping that COVID-19 will provide a sufficient distraction to cover their tracks.
Yesterday’s find, along with the drug bust in the Gulf of Paria the day before, underscores the need for continued vigilance by law enforcement, especially at this country’s ports of entry.
The recent revelation by the Commissioner of Police that serious crime is down, supported by robust statistics, is welcomed news. This, in addition to the number of illegal guns taken off the streets last year into this year by the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service and the soon to come Marine Unit, are some positive steps in easing the fear of crime from citizens’ minds.
But individual members of law enforcement must recognise the important role they each have to play and must be on the same page with the Commissioner and their respective seniors when it comes to plans to uphold the law - in whatever form it may come.
Concerns by the Police Social and Welfare Association about the health and safety of police officers, now tasked with ensuring COVID-19 lawbreakers are brought to justice is understandable but should not serve as a deterrent to enforcing their vigorous pursuit of enforcement of the law.
Cases of the virus are now back in triple digits and the highly-transmissible Brazil variant (P1) is spreading, with a total of four cases in several different communities around the country. It remains clear that some citizens cannot be counted on to exercise personal responsibility and their choice to flout the health regulations should result in the appropriate consequences.
The time is ripe for those called to action to do so and not shirk their duties. It is also not the time to politicise this country’s COVID-19 situation or crime.
The move by the United National Congress to put their spin on an advisory issued by the United States of America about travel to this country, must not only be frowned upon but should be condemned.
The US advisory cautioned travel to a total of 115 countries because of the spread of coronavirus and also cautioned about crime and advised US citizens against venturing into some areas. Trinidad and Tobago was among those countries listed.
The UNC’s unbridled attempt to twist the information to criticise the Government was of course denounced by the Embassy, which noted such missives have been a customary practice for years.
The COVID fight for this country is far from over and despite the start of the vaccination programme, there is much ground to cover before the battle is won.
We would do well as a nation to not add another boulder in the bag of woes we carry and to remain vigilant for those who seek to use the prevalence of COVID for their own devices.