CoP (Ag) Mc Donald Jacob speaks to several units of the Western Division on September 23rd. (Image courtesy TTPS)

The Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) is upping the ante and moving full throttle to eradicate the illicit trade and use of illegal firearms throughout the country.

That’s the word from Commissioner of Police (Ag) Mc Donald Jacob, who says the intention behind several anti-gun initiatives is to “erase citizens’ fear of crime and the perceived risk of victimisation, especially as it relates to violent and serious crimes such as murders, in which 85 percent usually involve the use of guns.”

Speaking to a team of officers of the Western Division in St James yesterday afternoon before a crime suppression exercise, CoP (Ag) Jacob underscored the calculated approach is not only seizing illegal firearms and ammunition but utilising the latest technology and forensic science in solving crimes which were committed using these weapons.

“We are pushing strongly but we just don’t want the firearms to be seized and found. We want the firearms to take the whole 360 degrees in the context of the scientific part, the forensic side and the investigative aspect to be dealt with. We are providing incentives straight up the ladder throughout all tiers of the process,” Mr Jacob elaborated.

“At the end of the day, if we can really use the same tool which is being utilised to commit serious crimes as a crime-fighting tool, the manner in which we analyse it, and extract evidence from Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) to ballistics to fingerprints, it will help us tremendously in taking a great number of offenders of the street,” the Ag CoP explained.

He reiterated the TTPS Executive’s latest initiative to incentivise police operations which yield the maximum result of arrests and charges for those bent on destabilising and destroying communities.

The acting CoP referred to a reward ceremony held earlier in the day at the Police Administration Building, in which all nine Police Divisions were recognised for their sterling performances in removing guns from the hands of criminals. The monetary rewards were distributed through the Divisional Commanders who in turn will cause the officers at the individual level to receive some degree of recognition at the close of the year.

The team involved in yesterday’s crime suppression exercise in the Western Division included officers of the Special Operations Response Team (SORT), Task Force, Crime Patrol, Canine Unit and officers from the various police stations throughout the Western Division.

Ag CoP Jacob reminded the team about their social responsibility to the nation.

“We are the shield between the law-abiding and the criminals and we must ensure that our people, our citizens, can go about their business without feeling that someone is going to attack or harm them in any way,” he stated.

The CoP (Ag) was flanked by Deputy Commissioner of Police (Ag), (Operation), Erla Christopher, and Senior Superintendent of Police, Western Division, Kelvern Thompson.