Five persons were arrested and three firearms, ammunition, and a quantity of marijuana were seized during an anti-crime exercise yesterday.
The exercise, coordinated by Snr. Supt. (Ag.) Curtis Paul was conducted between 1:00 am and 6:00 am on May 21st by officers attached to the St. Joseph Police Station.
According to police reports, during the exercise, officers proceeded to a house at Lower Dookiesingh Street, St. Joseph where they executed a search warrant.
A 31-year-old labourer was arrested and a pistol and a quantity of ammunition seized, by officers of the Siparia Criminal Investigations Department, during an anti-crime exercise yesterday.
According to police reports, during the exercise, officers proceeded to a bar located at Coora Road, Siparia, around 9:45 pm, last night where they had cause to search a 31-year-old labourer.
The search resulted in one pistol loaded with a magazine, containing four rounds of ammunition found in his possession.
Police Commissioner Gary Griffith has assured members of the Chaguanas East electoral district that he is working assiduously to clear the backlog of Firearm User Licenses (FULs). And he is also making it clear that he is not averse to granting citizens gun licenses once they qualify for them.
Griffith made the promise during a meeting at the office of Chaguanas East MP Fazal Karim, where several members of the public and business community raised concerns over the police’s tardiness in granting them gun licenses.
The government will soon take legislation to Parliament to help in ridding illegal firearms from the streets of T&T and putting away offenders and repeat offenders behind bars for a long time.
National Security Minister, Stuart Young on Tuesday lamented the influx of illegal firearms stating that recent statistics showed an estimate of 9,000 guns which include semi-automatic pistols and assault rifles such as the AR 15s and AK47s in the hands of the criminals.
Two persons were arrested and a firearm and quantities of ammunition and marijuana seized, by officers of the North Eastern Division Task Force, during an anti-crime exercise conducted in the El Socorro yesterday.
During the exercise conducted between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm, on March 28th the officers had cause to arrest a 27-year-old man of New Lane, El Socorro, for possessing a pistol, 13 rounds of ammunition and 465 grammes of marijuana.
Officers also held a 16-year-old suspect of the district, for possession of 64 grammes of marijuana during the same exercise.
In light of the spate of gun crimes, the national security minister intends to take a policy note to Cabinet for stiffer penalties for repeat gun offenders.
Speaking at this afternoon's post-cabinet news conference, Minister Stuart Young said an increase in the penalty should act as a serious deterrent.
He said, "the second time you are caught with a gun, I'd like the fine to be increased significantly and the third time, well three strikes and you're out."
The firearms section of the police service will remain closed indefinitely as an internal audit continues.
In a statement today, the office of the commissioner of police says the internal audit is ongoing and is expected to last for some time.
As such the commissioner's office says the firearms section will remain closed.
The section was first scheduled to re-open on March 7th but then that was pushed back to March 21st.
But now the police service says the firearms section will stay closed to facilitate the comprehensive audit.
Seven persons are expected to be charged with possession of a firearm and ammunition, after they were arrested by officers of the La Horquetta Criminal Investigations Department, during an anti-crime exercise this morning.
According to police reports, during the exercise coordinated by ACP McDonald Jacob and spearheaded by Snr. Supt. (Ag.) Curtis Paul, officers proceeded to Rocky McLaughlin Circular, Phase 4, La Horquetta, around 12:15 am, today where they observed a group of persons standing along the roadway, passing around an object which looked like a firearm.
A 20-year-old man has been arrested and charged by officers of the Northern Division after he was found in possession of a firearm and ammunition.
According to police reports, during an exercise on February 25th officers of the Northern Division Task Force, received information that lead them to the intersection of the Priority Bus Route and La Resource South, D’Abadie, where they conducted a search of the suspect.
The search resulted in officers discovering a Beretta pistol loaded with a magazine containing four rounds of 9mm ammunition.
Criminals are shifting from the use of handguns to commit crimes to more sophisticated military-type rifles.
This from Assistant Commissioner of Police (Anti-Crime) Jayson Forde on Wednesday as he told a Parliament Joint Select Committee on National Security that police were seizing an average of 1,000 illegal firearms annually.
Forde admitted that the rate at which illegal firearms “appear on the streets is something to be concerned about.”