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TTPS Southern Division Superintendent Ian Carty chats with Southern Division Senior Superintendent Ag, Lucia Winchester during a TTPS media briefing yesterday at the Police Administration Building, Edward and Sackville Street, Port-of-Spain.

Police officers attached to the Southern Police Division have observed an increase in robberies.

This was confirmed by acting Senior Superintendent Lucia Winchester during the T&T Police Service media conference that took place yesterday at the Police Administration Building in Port-of-Spain.

Winchester noted that the division is still, however, challenged by murders, shootings and woundings, burglaries and break-ins, larceny in general and larceny of motor vehicles.

“As at December 9 in 2020 we had 63 murders of which 15 were solved and in 2021, same period, we had 45 murders of which 26 per cent were solved. Regards to shootings and woundings we had 77 reported with a solve rate of 40 per cent whilst in 2021 we had 59 reports with 42 per cent solved,” Winchester said.

“(Regarding) larceny of motor vehicles, we had 70 in 2020 and 67 in 2021. We have observed several cases of persons who continue to leave their vehicles unsecured and unattended and at times left keys in the ignition. We advise persons to always lock your car doors and close the windows. Don’t leave cash and valuables in your cars and install car alarm systems,” she added.

“We had 141 reports of larceny in 2020 and in 2021 we had 145—a slight increase,” Winchester further disclosed.

She also warned of supporting social media ads: “We continue to observe that people are enticed by social media ads and tend to easily part with their hard-earned cash. We advise persons to make purchases from reputable retailers and refrain from meeting persons at remote locations to conduct cash transactions.”

Regarding burglaries and break-ins, in 2020, there were 166 reports, while in 2021 there were 180 reports.

“The analysis revealed that persons fail to properly secure their premises and property for example doors and windows continue to remain unlocked; spaces between the roof and wall allowing easy access; opened windows where items and valuables can be easily accessed. We encourage persons to properly secure their doors and windows, ensure proper lighting around your premises, try to install reliable CCTV.”

The senior officer also advised in putting out the garbage, “When you are placing your garbage outside try to do it during the daytime because at night you may be more vulnerable.”

Speaking on its “Strike Back” initiative in which evidence-based and intelligence-led policing are integral in the crime-fighting efforts with emphasis on targeting of priority offenders, Winchester was proud to disclose some of its successes.

“This initiative resulted in the arrest and charges proffered against 132 persons for 2021 averting the easy passage and movement of criminals and their unlawful possessions is one of high priority. Active directive patrols, frequent street check exercises and roadblock exercises provide increased police visibility throughout the division. These measures have resulted in the arrest of persons and seizure of several firearms and assorted rounds of ammunition.

For 2021 in total we have had 89 firearms seized and in 2020 we had 129. We have had 1,219 assorted ammunition seized in 2020 and in 2021, 1,145 rounds of assorted ammunition seized.”