Commissioner of Police, Gary Griffith, at today’s ceremony honouring the work of police officers involved in dismantling gangs under the Anti-Gang Legislation. (Image courtesy TTPS)

Fifty-one police detectives were awarded for their dedication to duty in dismantling a number of gangs within the country under the Anti-Gang Legislation, during a brief ceremony held today, Thursday 19th November 2020, at the Police Administration Building, Port-of-Spain.

According to an official release from the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS), the award is based on success in dismantling three major gangs within the last three months—representing a total of 18 gang members being charged under the Anti-Gang legislation from the Northern, North-Eastern, Port-of-Spain, and Western Divisions.

The awards were presented to the four Divisional team leaders on behalf of the 51 officers.

The TTPS reports that a total of 36 persons have been charged for the year thus far, and 88 persons for the last six years, for gang-related activities.

Speaking at the ceremony, Commissioner of Police, Gary Griffith, congratulated the officers for their extraordinary efforts in “pegging back gangs tremendously”, which he said has resulted in a major reduction in gang-related activities and murders.

“Currently, the country is on a trajectory of a reduction of over 115 murders when compared to the same period last year,” Commissioner Griffith reports, “which may result in the murder toll staying well below 400.”

He attributes this achievement to good intelligence and working structures, and the detectives’ dedication, discipline and productivity in the Anti-Gang Unit.

In encouraging the detectives to remain honest, brave and trustworthy, in their service to God and country, Commissioner Griffith asserted:

“With the continued, aggressive efforts of the detectives, the TTPS will be certain to clip the wings of criminals.”

Meanwhile, DCP (Ag) Intelligence and Investigations, McDonald Jacob, explained that the Anti-Gang Unit is now linking with the TTPS’ Financial Investigations Bureau to enhance the approach in investigating gangs and crime enterprise activities.

“The intent is to maximise the use of the Civil Assets and Unexplained Wealth Act 2019 in investigations,” he said, “which will ensure that all persons involved in gangs and criminal activities will be made to face the full brunt of the law.”

DCP Jacob noted the approach also will be coupled with the use of the Anti-Corruption Act to treat with white collar crime and other similar offences.