Police advise businesses, shoppers to be cautious for Christmas

Police are advising shoppers and business owners to ensure take proper security measures over the Christmas season.

The advice comes from ASP (Ag.) Vernly Gift of the Organised Crime and Intelligence Unit at today's weekly police news conference.

The following was his statement at the news conference.

"The Organised Crime and Intelligence Unit (OCIU) is a unit within the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) which was formed on the 15th September 2017.

The unit represents the amalgamation of the former Organised Crime Narcotics and Firearms Bureau with the former Criminal Gang and Intelligence Unit that best represents law enforcement’s approach to Serious Crimes.

The merging of the two units has not left a void, as it relates to law enforcement, as the former mandates of both departments were maintained by the new unit.

This represents an enhancement in the way the TTPS treats with organised crime, as the merging of the both units facilitates a multi-dimensional unit that can best address the TTPS’s strategic goal of reducing and detecting crime.

The following represents statistical data, as it relates to narcotics, firearms, and ammunition seizures, on behalf of Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) for the period 2017, and 1st January to 7th November, 2018: In 2017- 1155.10n kgs of marijuana, 225.61 kgs of cocaine, and 0.002 kgs of heroin were seized.

So far in 2018- 1433.72 kgs of marijuana, 326.08 kgs of cocaine, and nil heroin have been seized by personnel of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service.

We have therefore realized a 24% increase in seizures of marijuana for the current period when compared to the whole of 2017; and a 45% increase in seizures of cocaine when compared to all of 2017. These figures speak to the determination, resolve and hard work of the police together with the support and information of members of the public.

The TTPS has seized so far this year, a total of 842 firearms as compared to 884 for the same period in 2017.

This translates into a minor decrease of 5% so far in the current period when compared to last year.

The following are some tips to the members of the public that would serve to assist us in the fight against the gun and drug trade, human smuggling and/or trafficking:

1. Please utilise the numbers supplied for anonymous callers such as 800-TIPS, 555 and 999 or contact the OCIU at 623-6207; or share the information via the TTPS Facebook, Twitter or Facebook accounts.

2. We are in the Christmas season and we would like to inform persons, in particular the business community, to be extremely vigilant and aware of their surroundings, and be observant of customers. Ensure your premises are equipped with CCTV cameras which are strategically positioned to capture proper images. Do not walk around with large amounts of cash, especially when going to and from the banks. Employ the services of security agencies who are well trained and capable in providing services of a high quality to assist you in your security.

3. Persons who are desirous of visiting the busy shopping centres are also advised to exercise caution with their cash, jewellery and general property.

Police officers will be on duty in these areas and will be stepping up patrols, both foot and mobile, to ensure the safety and security of all."

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