Police say the Child Protection Unit (CPU) of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) has registered a 45% reduction in the number of youths or children charged for criminal offences for the comparative period January 1st to May 19th, 2017, and January 1st to May 19th, 2018.
Woman Sgt Michelle Lewis of the Child Protection Unit told a news conference today that the total number of child offenders for the periods are 96 and 53 respectively.
"The TTPS recognizes the advent of the international framework for the administration of child justice with the establishment of Booking Centres through the Juvenile Court Project (JCP). It should be noted that the CPU is the overseer for all Booking Centres throughout the country. At present, there are Booking Centres at the Maracas/St. Joseph Police Station, which services the Port-of–Spain Juvenile Court Project/ Children’s Court for matters along the East-West corridor," Lewis said.
She added: "Also, the Oropouche and Brasso Police Stations serve the Fyzabad Juvenile Court Project/Children’s Court for matters in the Central, South and SouthWestern areas. These three centres became operational effective March 1st, 2018. Other Booking Centres that will be operational in the near future will be located at the Maraval, Belmont, Gasparillo and the Moruga Police Stations. Eventually, there will be at least one Booking Centre, in each of the nine police divisions, throughout Trinidad and Tobago."
Lewis said that through the efforts of the TTPS Town and Community Meetings, school lectures and other public engagements, the Police Service continues to work towards achieving its strategic goals as outlined in the TTPS Strategic Plan 2017-2019.
The goals include, ‘to reduce and detect crime’ and ‘to strengthen community engagement, citizen-centred service and stakeholder partnerships’.
In relation to matters where children were the perpetrators of crime, 57% were recorded at the Maracas/St. Joseph Booking Centre, 32% at the Oropouche Booking Centre and 11% logged at the Brasso Booking Centre.
The most prevalent offences recorded were for possession of dangerous drugs for trafficking and possession of firearms and ammunition.
The CPU has also pointed to a slight decrease of 3%, in crimes committed against children, when compared to the corresponding period in 2017.
The figure decreased from 259 to 252.