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Municipal Police officers conduct road exercises in South.

Flyers educating members of the public on safety tips were distributed during a traffic exercise by the Southern Division of the Municipal Police Service yesterday.

More than 50 officers were involved in the exercise which saw several tickets being issued for traffic violations and failing to wear face masks.

Four Spanish-speaking nationals believed to be in the country illegally were also detained and three vehicles were impounded. Special attention was also paid to motorists using a private car for hire.

Headed by Snr Supt Curtis Belfon and Cecil Santana, the exercise was conducted in Marabella and at the Mon Repos roundabout.

In an interview with Guardian Media, Belfon said, “We are out in full force today looking at traffic infractions, looking at the adherence of the public health regulations and the overall safety and security of members of the public.”

Whether the exercise had anything to do with Andrea Bharatt’s murder, Belfon said, “The answer to that question is yes and no.”

While the exercises form part of their routine operations, he said, “We are certainly concerned about the safety and security of vulnerable members of the public, women, children and the elderly and so on and that will also be the focus of the exercise. This is why we are stopping vehicles. We are checking on the occupants. We are also complying with the guidance of the Commissioner of Police in that we are targeting PH taxis and completing stop and search forms which we will pass on to the TTPS. We are also giving out safety flyers on how people can prevent themselves from becoming a victim of crime.”

Involved in the exercise were Municipal officers from San Fernando, Princes Town, Point Fortin, Mayaro, Rio Claro, and the Municipal Police Academy. Belfon said the exercises will continue once a month or when necessary, in various areas within the southern region.