One day after alleged gang leader Anthony “Boombay” Boney was murdered in his vehicle on the Uriah Butler Highway, there was calm and peace in Laventille and other parts of East Port-of-Spain yesterday.
In response to the Laventille-based gang leader’s killing and five other homicides, the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service intensified exercises, from Wednesday night, across, at least four police divisions, including the Northern, Western and North Eastern Divisions.
According to Acting Commissioner of Police McDonald Jacob, who visited the Beetham community yesterday morning, the deadly violence called for an escalation in the service’s approach.
There were 85 police officers involved in the exercise in the Beetham Community yesterday, while hundreds more were deployed elsewhere in other areas to arrest the situation before it got out of hand.
The operation, Jacob said, is being led by Deputy Commissioner of Police Erla Cristopher—who is an applicant for the post of commissioner of police.
“We are all over to be sure, because sometimes when you have these incidents where someone who is deemed a so-called gang leader (is killed), they may have support in different areas—we are quite aware from our intelligence, we need to use that intelligence to guide us on the way forward and how we secure our nation,” Jacob said outside the Excel Beetham Estate Government Primary School.
He sought to assure the public that the capital city and the rest of the country will be safe and remain safe in the coming days.
“All the divisions can feel safe because the police are out there and we are making arrests of people we believe are involved in activities. So we want to assure the nation that we have the necessary personnel out there. We also have the support of the Defence Force,” Jacob said.
Asked by reporters for an update into the investigations of Boney’s murder, as well as Wednesday’s other killings, he said the investigations remain active so it would not be wise to give an update yet.
He said within a few days, he should be able to give more information.
The response by the police came after Minister of National Security Fitzgerald Hinds said he was confident the murder of Boney would not result in violence and crime getting out of hand in Laventille and surrounding communities, as police were on alert.
“I am confident that the presence of law enforcement platforms all over Trinidad and Tobago has been able to and continue to contain that type of volatility. So I’m confident that it will not get out of hand.”
The murder of Boney, described by the police as the second biggest gang leader in the country, follows a spate of violence which occurred over the last couple of months.