The body cameras for police officers are still in the experimental stages and have only been issued to certain officers as part of divisional requirements, this according to acting senior superintendent Michael Daniel, when asked about the status of the body cameras in the Northern Division at the police weekly media briefing yesterday.
Daniel revealed that while 60 body cameras were issued to the Northern Division, several are in need of servicing. He also revealed that of the 12 police stations in the Nothern Division, only three - St Joseph, Tunapuna and Pinto Road - were selected to participate in the pilot body cam project.
"At the moment we have assigned a camera to one senior officer on active patrol. We were not given enough cameras to supply to more and there are several issues we had with them, but our technical team is working on that aspect." he said.
In other policing news, Daniel drew a correlation between an increase in the number of firearms seized for the year thus far to an improved detection rate and reduction in murders. He said that between January 1 to September 13, a total of 123 firearms of assorted types and makes were seized within the Northern division. The figure represented a 48% increase from the 83 firearms seized during the same period last year. This rise was accompanied by a decrease iun the number of murders by 17% and a corresponding increase in the detection rate by 21%.
He credited the recent improvements in crime-fighting to a more innovative, community-based approach to policing which seeks to open greater dialogue between police and their communities.
"In order to ensure that the interaction with the community is continuing into 2017, the Division continues to hold Town Meetings and in the month of October, we will be launching a program across the entire division in the interest of victims of violent crimes and the community at large.
"Also the Power to Change Programme, which was initiated in collaboration with the various schools operating within the Division will reconvene as the school term has reopened."