Supt. (Ag.) Claire Guy- Alleyne attached to the Gender Based violence Unit speaks during the Police Weekly Press Conference at the Police Administration Building, Sackville Street, Port-of-Spain. yesterday.

Since the launch of the Gender-Based Violence Unit (GBVU) at the start of 2020, almost three hundred arrests have been made arising out of domestic violence incidents.

During the TTPS media briefing yesterday Acting Superintendent at the GBVU, Claire Guy-Alleyne, said officers have interacted with 2,622 people, of which 2,338 are women.

She also revealed that the Unit has already carried out 283 arrests, and coming out of those arrests, 368 charges.

“Some may say it’s a small figure (283 arrests from 2622 interactions) but domestic violence victims sometimes come to the police and just ask that the perpetrator be warned and we can understand that. A domestic violence victim, most times, really just want the abuse to stop and no further action to be taken,” Guy-Alleyne said.

She encouraged the public to have confidence in the TTPS, “We encourage the growing public awareness surrounding the reported sexual and physical assaults, mainly against women. We continue to encourage the public to make reports and feel confident that when a report is made, it will be treated with priority and the strictest of confidence.

“There is a process that must be followed when a complaint is filed and we ask you to trust the process. An investigator will be assigned and will do everything they can to get justice for the victim or the survivor. I can assure you that officers were chosen for their special skill set including the ability to show compassion for the victim while maintaining the TTPS motto to protect and serve with pride,” she added.

Guy-Alleyne noted that given the recent media coverage surrounding such crimes, the TTPS expects domestic violence reports to increase but assured that the GBVU is ready to investigate every case coming in.

With regards to missing people, especially women, Commissioner of Police, Gary Griffith said that only 44 women are still missing from reports made last year.

Griffith, in attempting to clarify misinformation on the topic of missing persons said that since the death of Andrea Bharatt, media houses had picked up and utilized incorrect information or ‘out-of-context’ statistics to paint an image that there was a crisis in this country as it regards to missing persons.

Griffith disclosed that in 2020, 771 persons were reported missing, of which, 432 were women and added that by year’s end 667 had been found and accounted for, “This left 104 persons unaccounted for, of which only 44 were women.”

“So the perception is that there are 432 women missing in this country in 2020, and that is inaccurate. It is 44. That being said, it does not take away the fact that if one person is missing it is unacceptable and it is something that must be dealt with. However, from 432 missing to 44… you can see that this is misinformation and gives the impression that we are in a situation that it is not being dealt with and we (the TTPS) are trying to hide the facts,” Griffith said.

Griffith further explained that police officers now treat with a missing persons report immediately and no longer wait for 48 hours before action is taken.

He also said the TTPS

Griffith also disclosed that the TTPS would be engaging with the business community to help place missing person images and posters on key heavy traffic areas, in a bid to quickly locate these individuals.