Dillon promises increase in police, military presence in East POS

National Security Minister, Edmund Dillon is promising an increase in police and military presence in East Port-of-Spain to address the gang violence in the area.

Speaking at today's post-Cabinet news conference, Minister Dillon said that during Wednesday's walkabout in the community, law enforcement personnel could not get any proper reasons for the killings taking place, outside of the fight for turf.

"There will be a very strong law enforcement presence in those areas. You will see an increased presence by police, supported by the Defence Force, to give people who don't belong to gangs a sense of safety and to treat with those who belong to gangs," the minister said.

The minister said that the community is now witnessing what appears to be "random killings" and says the presence by police and military personnel will be sustained.

He said there is already a presence in Laventille but that the military will be used more.

"We believe we have to and must ensure that those who are bent on disruption receive the full brunt of the law," he said.

Minister Dillon noted that last year police recovered 1,064 weapons and 18,000 rounds of ammunition.

He says that to date, close to 500 arms and 5000 rounds of ammunition have been recovered this year.

He says the gun retrieval strategy is taking place in tandem with moves to prevent the importation of weapons through maritime patrols and land-based coastal patrols as well in areas like Icacos, Quinam, Toco, Galeota, Paria and Blanchissuese.

Meanwhile, Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister, Stuart Young said that Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley has called for a meeting of the National Security Council on Monday.

He said the Government will hear of the needs of national security agencies and provide as best as it can.

 

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