Cops raid Dorata Street
By ALEXANDER BRUZUAL Wednesday, August 29 2012
FOLLOWING last weekend’s murder spree, in which four persons including a ten-year-old boy were gunned down along Dorata Street in Laventille, a large contingent of heavily armed police officers swooped down yesterday in a major exercise along the street. Officers also held similar exercises in other parts of Laventille and Morvant.
The exercise, spearheaded by Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime) Mervyn Richardson and coordinated by Superintendent John Daniel saw officers from the Inter Agency Task Force, Guard and Emergency Branch, North Eastern Division Task Force, K9 Unit, Morvant CID and Port-of-Spain CID being involved.
Eighteen persons were arrested in the exercise which took place along Dorata Street and Pelican Extension in Morvant for several offences including possession of arms and ammunition and possession of narcotics.
The exercise took place between 3 am and 11 am, during which officers responded to a report of a house fire. It was reported that at 3.45 am, residents of Pelican Extension heard a loud explosion and saw a two-storey concrete house on fire. Firemen from Morvant Fire Station responded.
The owner of the house, Yarna Skinner was not present at the time and police were unable to ascertain the losses. Officers said while investigations are continuing, it is not known what started the blaze.
“In recent time, we have noticed an upsurge in criminal activities in the area. We have heard the residents calling on us to assist. Therefore, we went to these areas today in support of the residents and to assure them that the TT Police Service is prepared to do whatever is necessary within the confines of our legal abilities, to ensure the safety and security of all citizens,” Richardson said.
He also thanked residents who assisted in the exercise which was conducted yesterday.
“I want to assure these law-abiding citizens that we are on their side and want nothing but their safety. There will be similar exercises in the near future. Citizens of this country can rest assured that members of the Police Service will work relentlessly in the coming weeks to bring back a sense of normalcy.”
Speaking to the media at the Hyatt Regency following the opening of the Victim and Witness Support Unit of the TT Police Service regional conference on Monday night, Acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams said crime in Laventille will be dealt with even as he acknowledged it would take a “big effort.”
“Most murders in Trinidad occur in Laventille and not in 2012, but historically,” Williams said.
Responding to a question on the resurgence of murders in Laventille, Williams said, “There is no one thing that is happening in Laventille. It’s a multifaceted issue and will require a multifaceted approach.”
On the weekend, over the space of 48 hours, Kareem Alphonso, ten; Jacob Peters, 19; Anton Alves, 24; and Miguel Clinton, 24, were killed in shooting incidents along Dorata Street and Church Street, Laventille.
When Newsday visited Dorata Street yesterday, following the exercise, that street was empty with residents locked in their homes. Efforts to interview the residents proved futile as none of them responded to calls and knocks on their doors and gates.