LOCAL police have added serial-number restoration to their crime-fighting arsenal, which can play a critical role in solving the larceny of vehicle parts such as chassis and engines.
In fact, a police press release issued on Monday, warned both thieves and dealers in stolen car parts to "think twice" about their illegal activities, since police have a this new investigative tool which can lead to arrests and prosecution.
An officer from the Stolen Vehicles Squad was among 12 members of the police and the National Security Training Agency who completed a UNRegional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC) serial number restoration course from March 16-19.
The officers received their course certificates at a ceremony at the Police Administration Building in Port of Spain on Monday. Speaking at the ceremony, British High Commissioner Harriet Cross said she was thrilled to hear that the methodologies which were traditionally used to recover serial numbers from guns were also being adapted to help in the detection of vehicle thefts and the illegal car-parts trade.
Cross also acknowledged the sacrifices made by the officers to complete the course via virtual delivery.
National Security Minister Stuart Young also lauded the innovative use of the training material, saying that it ensured that local law enforcement was not operating within silos with regard to their knowledge, skills and intelligence.
He said the State had a vested interest in ensuring investigators were properly trained in this area of forensics and it was now up to the officers to do their part and solve the crimes.
Also addressing the ceremony, Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith noted that the training was timely, as the police continue to take guns and ammunition off the streets daily. He said with 172 guns being either found or seized to date for 2021, the illegal trade remains strong but the police is committed to putting a dent in these operations.
Griffith also said he was looking forward to TT achieving its goals and objectives associated with the Caribbean Firearms Roadmap Initiative.
UNLIREC director Melanie Regimbal praised the trainees and local authorities for their ongoing commitment to putting the knowledge they gained in the training to use in their investigations already, with positive results.
At the end of the ceremony, Young, Cross and Griffith were given a demonstration of serial-number restoration by the trainees.