Fight against crime in region – Caribbean police commissioners vow to work together

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

PORTRAIT: National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds, front row, 4th from right, with commissioners of police from several Caribbean countries who attended a week-long conference at the Hyatt Regency in Port of Spain. PHOTO BY AYANNA KINSALE –

NEWLY appointed president of the Association of Caribbean Commissioners of Police Atlee Rodney said one of the main accomplishments of the week-long conference held in Port of Spain was a renewed commitment by regional commissioners to work with each other.

Speaking at the closing ceremony of the conference at the Hyatt Regency, Rodney who is Antigua and Barbuda’s CoP said the conference highlighted the need for commissioners to network.

“I think the one thing we can say is there is a renewed effort by commissioners to work together. We recognise the importance of sharing information.

“I think we have a commitment from this conference to meet more regularly and work together to deal with crime. During our deliberations, we discovered that all problems were similar.”

He added that illegal firearms is the common plague commissioners have to deal with in their respective countries and it was necessary for greater dialogue and intelligence-sharing.

The Caribbean Crime Gun Intelligence Unit (CCGIU), formed last year after two years of planning, will focus on tracing guns found in the region. This Rodney said is one of the means through which commissioners will collaborate to address gun violence.

The unit, which is currently eight-members strong, will work through the Caribbean Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (Impacs) with assistance from the US government.

At the closing ceremony of the three-day seminar on guns in the region hosted by the Caribbean Basin Security Institute (CBSI) in April, US Ambassador Candace Bond said that between 2010-2023, the US spent US$832 million to combat illegal guns coming into the Caribbean.

Rodney said the recent $234 million drug bust in Trinidad the fruit of this collaborative effort.

“The intelligence that we are getting is that it would not have been the first shipment and hopefully, we wish it would be the last…but it might not be the last. We are recognising that every member state within Caricom is in one way or the other, affected by transnational crime.

“As you can see from that last big operation, the drugs started in another jurisdiction and found its way to Trinidad, obviously it might be on its way to Antigua and then other regions. There is that transnational movement taking place when it comes to crime, and that is why we have to be united to address the problem.”

Rodney described the conference as “the best we have had in recent times,” as there was a larger participation of police leaders. The next conference is expected to take place in Belize.