Wednesday 27 May, 2020

Young: Intelligence-lead operations launched to combat crime

National Security Minister Stuart Young said the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) will be executing a series of intelligence-led operations to pursue criminal elements and ensure the public's safety in the coming months.

Speaking at a media briefing following a meeting with the heads of the Ministry’s security agencies on Tuesday, Young said a push-back against crime is underway.

The operations will be executed by the TTPS with the assistance of the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force (TTDF) and other agencies under the Ministry.

The briefing was held after a series of killings which took place in recent weeks.

“Unfortunately we’ve seen an upsurge in some of the criminal activity and in particular some murders of persons, some of whom may be innocent and some of whom may be living a life of crime.”

“Intelligence has been gathered over a number of months for…certain operations. Unfortunately to the law-abiding citizens in particular areas, I ask (them) to bear with us as we launch (these operations) for their safety and their security.”

“Very shortly there will be increased intelligence-driven operations aimed at achieving exactly what I just described.”

“It is time that we dictate the pace and go on the offensive, and do all we can to ensure the criminal element is beaten into submission.”

“Additionally, the anti-gang legislation specifically provides for these situations. There are specific charges that can be laid under anti-gang legislation that were designed for situations dealing with gangs.”

“We are well aware of the need to assist them (citizens) and provide levels of protection for them. However, the only way for us to push back…is to change the narrative, and that is what will be happening."

“Understand that these operations are being conducted to ensure and improve the safety and security of citizens in Trinidad and Tobago.”

“We cannot allow it to get worse and for criminal elements to get even more emboldened. So we will push back and we will push back hard. I stand with the men and women of the law enforcement agencies and they will do so in the safest possible manner,” Young said.

Although he did not reveal any details of the operations, Young said Carnival preparations had been initiated since last year and said he was happy to see how the safety initiatives are progressing.

“This is not just up to the TTPS and Defence Force; revellers, band leaders all have a part to play…I’m pleased with the proprietary work (that has been done) as we move forward to Carnival,” he said.

Young, however, denied any similarity between these operations and a State of Emergency which was declared in 2011 under the People’s Partnership government.

A State of Emergency (SoE) is a completely different concept…it suspends constitutional rights in an area of country…that’s not happening on this occasion."

"We’re working within the confines of the law and you’re going to see a serious push by the men and women in Trinidad and Tobago Police Service with the support of other agencies as they change the landscape on this criminal element,” he said.

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