Police public information officer ASP Wayne Mystar said police are mandated to protect citizens from criminal elements even in the schools.
He was agreeing with Minister of Education Anthony Garcia, who said it was left to the police to keep out and round up criminal elements who have been looting from and terrorising the new building at St Joseph Secondary School.
“It is the TTPS’ mandate to ensure criminal elements do not enter the schools,” Mystar said.
He said the police are working with security and staff at the school to develop a security plan.
In the meantime, the school is being given extra attention, with regular patrols in the area and regular checks by police.
Last Thursday it was reported gunmen were terrorising the staff, so much so that school had to be dismissed early, according to TT Unified Teachers Association (TTUTA ) officials.
It was reported gunmen from the area had stripped the school of any and all items which were not nailed down, and some that were, including windows, aircondition compressors and galvanise from the roof.
Garcia said the theft and vandalism at the school and the intimidation of students and teachers by gun-toting criminals had been consistent, even though there is a police station a stone’s throw away.
But Mystar said since the police intervened there had been no complaints of vandalisation or intimidation.