Acting Commissioner of Police Mc Donald Jacob says the “Special Victims Unit (SVU) is not being closed, but is here to stay.” Jacobs was giving the assurance during the opening ceremony of a Rape and Sexual Assault Awareness Training workshop today. The workshop is in partnership with the British High Commission.

In a press release issued today, “Jacob noted that the SVU has the full support of the Executive of the TTPS and its work has been having a positive impact, as victims are getting the professional assistance they need.”

The following is a press release from the TTPS:

The Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) Special Victims Unit (SVU) is not being closed, but is here to stay. This was the assurance given by Acting Commissioner of Police, Mc Donald Jacob, during the opening ceremony of a Rape and Sexual Assault Awareness Training workshop, in partnership with the British High Commission, held today, Monday 31st January, 2022, at the Police Academy, St. James.

The SVU is comprised of the Gender-Based Violence Unit, the Child Protection Unit and the Sexual Offences Unit. CoP (Ag.) Jacob noted that the SVU has the full support of the Executive of the TTPS and its work has been having a positive impact, as victims are getting the professional assistance they need.

He also noted that there has been a downward trend in murders arising out of domestic violence incidents. CoP (Ag.) Jacob said opportunities which align with the TTPS’ strategic goal of strengthening the institutional capacity of the organisation, through training, are always welcome and will redound to the benefit of the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago.

Also delivering remarks at the ceremony, was Her Excellency, Harriet Cross, British High Commissioner to Port of Spain. She praised the dedication and professionalism of the officers attached to the SVU, saying that she is very impressed with their efforts and collaborative approach to dealing with genderbased violence issues.

Her Excellency Cross noted the decision to ‘train the trainers’ in the TTPS, meant that the knowledge shared during the workshop, can be then widely disseminated to other officers throughout the Service. The Rape and Sexual Assault (RSA) training will build capacity among 50 TTPS officers, including ten senior officers and 10 civilian members of the TTPS Victim and Support Unit.

The training takes place on 31 January – 2 February in Trinidad and 24-25 February in Tobago. The training will directly impact the effectiveness of the entire Special Victims Department, as the skills learned will be transferred to all 300 members of the department and eventually the entire TTPS. Also in attendance at the ceremony were Provost, Police Academy, Dr. Simon Alexis, Supt. Claire-Guy Alleyne and Manager, Victim and Witness Support Unit, Aisha Corbie.