Massive drop in serious crime – T&T National Security Minister tells regional Top Cops

(Trinidad Express) National Security Minister Gary Griffith yesterday said there has been a massive drop in the total serious crimes in Trinidad and Tobago.
The Minister was speaking at the 29th annual general meeting and conference of the Association of Caribbean Commissioners of Police (ACCP) at Hyatt Regency hotel, Port of Spain.
The conference brings together law enforcement agencies from across the Caribbean, USA, Canada and the United Kingdom, together with academics and security professionals.
“The Caribbean region has been averaging on a continual basis an unacceptable high rate of murders, averaging around 30 per 100,000 citizens. While Trinidad and Tobago is also unfortunately a mirror image of what is happening in the wider Caribbean, our country has seen a massive drop in total serious crimes over recent years,” said Griffith in his address to the conference.
According to a release from the Ministry of National Security, the Minister indicated that it was imperative that Caribbean law enforcement leaders “explore innovative alternatives to traditional law enforcement approaches and to develop workable solutions and new methods to reduce the vulnerabilities commonly exploited by transnational organised crime. Our job must be to also deflect crime, by making the region a hard target”.
Griffith noted the T&T Government’s establishment of the Transnational Organised Crime Unit (TOCU) for the purpose of addressing current and new threats that have the potential to do tremendous harm to the region.
The Minister said in the past few months TOCU has worked in close cooperation with various national intelligence and law enforcement agencies, which has resulted in the successful seizure of a substantial amount of marijuana, firearms and ammunition in the region.
International maritime operations with North American and European law enforcement agencies have also resulted in substantial shipments of cocaine being seized.
Griffith said Trinidad and Tobago has recently revitalised cooperation efforts, in terms of military defence and security, with South American neighbours Colombia and Venezuela.
He added that T&T has also enhanced bilateral cooperation with the United States in furtherance of letters of agreement on narcotics control and law enforcement which were signed between the two governments in 2011, 2012 and 2013.
Griffith emphasised the need for training of law enforcement personnel.
He added that people of the region depended not only on its police leaders to continue the drive to make the region safer, but leaders of respective policing jurisdictions must have the support of those in government as support was crucial if police organisations were to achieve their respective departmental goals.
“The state must face equal responsibility to ensure successful policing and law enforcement. It is the duty of the state to ensure that law enforcement officers are provided with the necessary support, including tools and training, and adequate compensation to perform at optimum level. We cannot expect maximum results with minimum investment,” said Griffith.
He said it was the job of regional security to also deflect crime, by making the Caribbean region a hard target.
Griffith said the region must work together to successfully combat transnational organised crime.

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