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Police officers search a man before detaining him during a raid along Charlotte Street, Port-of-Spain, yesterday.

Seven people were arrested after police officer executed a dragnet exercise in downtown Port-of-Spain.

The exercise came in the wake of a spate of robberies in downtown Port-of-Spain over the last three weeks where six Chinese establishments on Charlotte Street were among many businesses robbed in “invasion-type” raids carried out by bandits. This is where a group of six to ten men run into a business and announce a hold-up. Police noted that their information suggested that some of the robbers were from neighbouring communities. One man is in police custody in connection with those recent robberies.

Yesterday, as part of the taking back Charlotte Street and environs, police officers executed the dragnet exercise with various units taking part.

Leading the field operations was Inspector Ramesh Soodeen, who told Guardian Media the operation was conducted after heavy intelligence work throughout the Port-of-Spain Police Division.

“So far, it has yielded several arrests from drugs to outstanding warrants and it is continuing and ongoing in all of Port-of-Spain. We want to take back the streets, we want to make the business people comfortable and the customers, they have to feel safe to come and shop on Charlotte Street,” Soodeen said early on in the activity.

The activity took place three days earlier than originally announced by acting Senior Superintendent of the Port-of-Spain Division Brandon-John. He had originally indicated that the police would launch joint police-army patrols with the Defence Force from Monday in response to the spate of robberies, in an attempt to protect businesses on Charlotte Street and in Port-of-Spain.