POLICE intend to make a clean sweep of criminals in North-Eastern
Division with their latest anti-crime initiativeOperation
Clean Sweepwhich was launched on Saturday, by the
T&T Police Service.
The officers raided several hot spots over the weekend,
seizing an assortment of ammunition, high-powered firearms
and arrested a primary suspect believed to be connected
to shootings within the division.
Operation Clean Sweep, a three-month initiative, also focused
on the confiscation of illegal drugs within the division,
Lawmen have also been mandated to conduct 24-hour patrols,
raids and random checks until the operation ends.
The exercise would also target criminal elements believed
to be connected with the smuggling of narcotics and firearms
into the country, police said.
North-Eastern Division has been plagued with a series of
gang-related crimes, including reprisal killings during
the past months.
Operation Clean Sweep is the brain child of officers assigned
to Morvant Police Station.
The station, along with five others, was chosen last year
to form Governments model station project.
Objectives of the project included forming stronger ties
with members of the community and targeting crime, especially
at the street level.
Officers said Operation Clean Sweep was proposed to senior
officers in North-Eastern Division a few weeks ago.
It was, however, sanctioned only recently by executive members
of the Police Service.
Among the units involved in the operation were the High
Performance Team (HPT), based in Morvant, and officers from
the Morvant CID and Task Force.
Police said they would target certain areas within the North-Eastern
Division, including Sawmill Avenue, Pelican Extension in
Morvant and Barataria.
Operation Clean Sweep has joined the list of other initiatives
previously implemented by law enforcement officers.
These included Operation Anaconda launched in 2001 under
the stewardship of former National Security Minister Howard
Two years later, Operation Baghdad was undertaken by the
Police Service to weed out criminals.
Both Operation Anaconda and Bhagdad, however, came under
heavy criticism from members of the public, who deemed them
a waste of time.
Contacted yesterday, acting Deputy Police Commissioner in
charge of Anti-Crime Operations, Gilbert Reyes, showered
praises on the officers.
Reyes commended them for what he described as dedication
and commitment to duty. He added:
am, indeed, impressed with the officers deployed at North-Eastern
have been working night and day to bring the crime level
down, especially in Morvant and Barataria.
Asked if similar initiatives were expected to come on stream
in other divisions, Reyes said it was possible, but
still too early to tell.
Successes so far
n Close to 200 grammes of marijuana recovered
n Recovery of an assortment of ammunition
n Recovery of several firearms, including
pistols and revolvers
n Arrest of a suspect linked to shooting offences