With 24 more municipal police officers patrolling the streets of San Fernando, president of the San Fernando Business Association Daphne Bartlett says there has been a marked decrease of petty crimes in the leadup to Carnival.
In an interview, Bartlett said since her association met with Police Commissioner Gary Griffith two months ago, several crime prevention strategies were rolled out which has greatly reduced crime in the south city.
Saying she was satisfied with the performance of the police, Bartlett said frequent patrols has always acted as a deterrent to crime.
Bartlett also noted that the setting up of mobile patrols around the city has worked well in deterring criminals.
“Not too long ago, there were many daylight robberies in San Fernando. We had petty theft, pickpocketing but this has diminished a great deal,” Bartlett said. She also added that there has been a change in the attitudes of the police.
“They are more helpful and kind. For example, normally they would ticket businesspeople if they park in front of their stores on afternoons but now they realize that we have to stay a 15 minute in front of the stores to pack goods so they allow us this time and they don’t ticket us,” Bartlett said.
Praising the police for patrolling the city, Bartlett said she welcomed the new initiatives to crime fighting.
Meanwhile, Sgt Anthony Dorset, who led new municipal recruits on patrol, said he was heartened by the tremendous respect the police were getting from the public.
He said part of Griffith’s crime fight was to have more officers outside on the streets.
“We are showing the new recruits the right way to do policing. It means that we not only enforce law and order but we also help those in need,” Dorset said. He added that particular streets in the city were given attention. These include High Street, Mucurapo Street, Coffee Street, Harris Promenade and Chancery Lane.
“There are lots of lawless people these days. We see a lot of people contravening traffic laws and we enforce the law for the benefit of the wider citizenry. We are also out here helping people as best as we can,” Dorset said.
He noted that foot patrols will continue in the leadup to Carnival.
Reporter: Radhica Sookraj