Wednesday 23 September, 2020

Top cop denies claims of a rise in shootings in East Dry River

Police Commissioner Gary Griffith is dismissing reports of escalating shooting incidents in East Dry River, Port-of-Spain.

It follows an advisory issued by the Downtown Owners and Merchants Association (DOMA), warning of heightened shooting incidents in Piccadilly, also known as “East Dry River.” Noting that he saw the warning, the Commissioner sought to allay the fears of the public with the following information:

1. There had been no reports of open gun battles in the Piccadilly area

2. The TTPS is aware that this area has had incidents in the recent past, however intelligence agencies have not received any reports or video footage to confirm what is suggested in the advisory

3. Persons are asked to take heed of advisories issued by the relevant authorities on law enforcement such as the Ministry of National Security and the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS)

"Commissioner Griffith gives the assurance that the TTPS has been intensifying both overt and covert patrols to prevent and manage situations of criminal activity. He is also advising that there is no need to cause anxiety among the population or to stigmatize any area."

Griffith reiterated that there had been no reports of escalating shooting incidents in the East Dry River. He also cautioned citizens against causing panic.

"Whereas the CoP respects the rights of persons to make a statement, such statements should be made following communication with the TTPS, to prevent undue anxiety and stress among the population and also to avoid stigmatizing any area."

Earlier on Thursday, National Security Minister Stuart Young also addressed DOMA's statement. He said he received confirmation from the Besson Street Police Station that this was untrue.

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