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Thursday 19 September 2019
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Street talk replaces police town meetings

Police Commissioner Gary Griffith, eighth from left, stands with senior officers of the Tobago Division of the TT Police Service, and members of the business community at the launch of the I Support Our Service (ISOS), at the Apex Bar and Grill in Bon Accord, on February 8.
Police Commissioner Gary Griffith, eighth from left, stands with senior officers of the Tobago Division of the TT Police Service, and members of the business community at the launch of the I Support Our Service (ISOS), at the Apex Bar and Grill in Bon Accord, on February 8.

The monthly police town meetings are no longer producing the desired results in the fight against crime, Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith said on Monday, hence the need for a new operation, Street Talk.

Griffith was speaking at the Tobago launch of I Support Our Service (ISOS).

He told reporters the introduction of Street Talk will allow police to visit communities around TT frequently to interact one-on-one.

He said, “You get a lack of support, lack of attendance at these meetings. This is going to change.

“It won’t benefit us just going and sitting on our high horse and speaking to the community from in a community centre. We are going on the ground; we are going on the streets. We have lost the aspects of police officers being on the beat, on foot patrols because many people officers are either in police stations or in a mobile patrol.”

He said these street patrols are expected to be done by police on and off duty.

“We want them in bars, playing sports with the young persons, getting to understand them, getting to believe in them, getting them to believe in you, having the sense of trust and understanding, getting that information and getting persons to turn away from the life of crime.

“That is a better way of dealing with community policing, through street talk, than the community meeting.”

He said he is not planning to completely ignore the community-meeting strategies, but the focus is gaining the trust of the public, “rubbing shoulders with all members of the community and not just having these official meetings that you will not get much productivity, in comparison to Operation Street Talk.”

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