While officers of various divisions within the TTPS have made strides in the fight against crime, they are still daunted by the high incidents of violent crimes and firearm offenses, this according to Public Information officer, Acting Superintendent (ASP) Michael Pierre. Pierre made the remarks during the weekly police media briefing at Sackville street yesterday.
The briefing centered around the TTPS' mid-yearly review for the period of January 1 to July 30.
"Despite the achievements of the divisions of the TTPS having achieved some level of success in the record of performance for the year thus far. Reports of murder and other violent crimes to which the firearm remains the weapon of choice for commission of such crimes this continues to be a challenge to the TTPS."
Pierre revealed that for the period of January 1 to June 30 there has been 251 murders for this year, an increase from 229 for the same period last year. Despite the challenges however, Pierre said that the TTPS remains committed to improving it's detection rate through different initiatives and programmes.
"The TTPS continues to intensify its effort to achieve a further reduction in serious crimes as well as improve the overall detection rates. Road checks, increased visibility through foot and mobile patrols intensifying investigations and other measures to ensure that illegal firearms are seized and removed from communities in T&T.
We also continue to work with communities and other stakeholders through our town and station council meetings to increase awareness, reduce crime and improve our detection rate."
Pierre also commended the Eastern, Southwestern and Tobago Divisions for their performance and commitment to increasing the crime detection rates above the international standard.
"For this 6 month period the TTPS has an overall 30% detection rate for serious crimes which is inkeeping with the international benchmark for crime detection. Three of the nine police divisions met and surpassed this benchmark, namely Southwestern, Eastern and the Tobago Divisions, with detection rates of 59%, 47% and 37% respectively. Four of the nine divisions have now gone above this mark namely Southwestern and Eastern divisions improved their detection rates to 64% and 57 % respectively."
In addition to the improved detection rates at these Divisions, Pierre also said that there has been a marked decrease in the incidence of violent crime in the Port of Spain Division from 1072 reported cases last year.