Hours after Minister of National Security Stuart Young said he intends to “push back” against crime, Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith raised the policing alert from amber to red, in light of a series of murders and gang-related activities, a police release revealed yesterday.
At around 11 am, members of various units including the Special Operations Response Team (SORT), led by Griffith, went on raids in areas in Laventille and the Beetham Estate.
Newsday understands the operations involved members of the Besson Street Police Station, Inter Agency Task Force, Guard and Emergency Branch, Multi Operational Police Squad and the Port of Spain CID. They visited Dan Kelly, Laventille and Phase Two, Beetham Gardens.
One man believed to be a reputed gang leader of a Muslim gang was arrested in Picton and taken to Besson Street for further questioning. The man Newsday understands was recently released for a similar conviction.
At the Beetham, residents said they were confused over why so many police were called in and why they were there.
Newsday understands an emergency meeting was held with various senior officers yesterday in preparation for the operations.
The press release was issued two hours after the operations ended and said that while law abiding citizens may experience some inconvenience because of these operations, it was necessary to deal with criminals and maintain law and order.
The release also announced that Griffith will be hosting a media briefing this morning at 10 at the Police Administration Building on Sackville Street Port of Spain.