Near 100 held over Easter weekend, 40 for DUIs in T&T

Police have arrested close to 100 people, including 40 for driving under the influence of alcohol, over the Easter weekend.

The Police Service said in a statement that it executed “a robust, strategically coordinated effort” to safeguard members of the public over this highly anticipated Easter weekend, as officers conducted numerous patrols and exercises throughout all policing divisions across the country. “These exercises not only provided a high level of visibility, which promoted compliance to the law but also led to the arrest of 95 persons, the seizure of nine illegal firearms and a quantity of narcotics,” the Police Service said.

It said operations over the weekend were coordinated by ACP Joanne Archie performing the duties of DCP Operations.

“The TTPS is aware that road traffic exercises may be a momentary annoyance to motorists. However, given that 40 drivers were found to be driving under the influence of alcohol over the weekend proves that these exercises are effective and necessary,” Archie said.

The Police Service said in its statement that it is certain that motorists would prefer being temporarily delayed rather than being stopped permanently due to an encounter with a drunk driver.

“The TTPS also issued over 1,338 fixed penalty notices to errant motorists over the weekend, as speeding and reckless driving has resulted in a 25 per cent increase in road traffic fatalities in 2022 as compared to the same period in 2021,” the statement added.

Police also seized nine guns which resulted in the arrest of 15 people between Thursday and Monday.

“Around 7 am on Monday a party of officers from the Couva Criminal Investigations Department (CID) were on exercise duty along Railway Road, Couva when they observed a man standing under the metal bridge holding a large crocus bag. When officers approached, the man dropped the said bag, which when searched contained one AR-15 assault rifle, one Glock 19 pistol with one extended magazine containing 15 rounds of nine-millimetre ammunition, one magazine containing 10 rounds of nine-millimetre ammunition, four packets containing marijuana, six packets of cocaine and one Central Division Task Force (CDTF) tactical jacket and a quantity of medical vials containing medicine.”

Police said the items were seized and the man was arrested.

Meanwhile, six people were arrested on Friday in the North Central Division after police seized a Beretta pistol with 16 rounds of nine-millimetre ammunition during a house search exercise.

Four people were also arrested on Thursday during a roadblock exercise conducted in the San Raphael district of the Northern Division, after officers seized one firearm with one extended magazine and 12 rounds of nine-millimetre ammunition.

One man was also arrested for being in possession of a firearm and ammunition in the Southern Division after officers of the Ste Madeleine Police Station searched several drug blocks and houses in the area. One Smith and Wesson Revolver and nine rounds of .38 ammunition were seized when officers of the Northern Division searched a man from Maloney, he was then arrested for being in possession of a firearm and ammunition. Police also seized three other firearms over the weekend. The Police Service said that when officers of the Western Division executed a search warrant at a house located at Richplain, Diego Martin, they seized four brown-coloured rectangular blocks each containing marijuana.

The marijuana weighed approximately two kilogrammes and a man was arrested and conveyed to the St James Police Station.

A further 1.3 kilogrammes of marijuana was seized during various exercises across the country over the weekend.

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