More police patrols, wreckers to return on Ariapita Avenue

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

In this file photo, patrons park along Ariapita Avenue, Woodbrrok. –

Wrecking will resume on Ariapita Avenue as part of the plans by police to address crime in the Woodbrook area.

Four shooting incidents on Ariapita Avenue in the past year have resulted in four deaths and left five people injured, including a British tourist.

Responding to questions by Sunday Newsday, police communications manager Joanne Archie said wrecking is part of the security measures in place to deal with pre-Carnival activities in the district.

According to a document she shared, the plans include an increased deployment of mobile and foot patrols, with officers being asked to perform additional hours of work beyond their normal roster, particularly on weekends.

There will be more foot patrols with a view to providing high visibility in and around Carnival and non-Carnival events, including residential and business areas.

Additional units, apart from officers stationed at the Woodbrook Police Station, will be deployed at strategic points to identify and, if necessary, arrest people involved in criminal activity.

The move to secure the area is a joint operation with units from the Inter-Agency Task Force, Guard and Emergency Branch, City Police and the Western Division Task Force forming outer cordons around the area to suppress criminal activity.

The public can expect increased roadblocks at strategic locations, regular stop-and-search exercises and random DUI exercises.

The police also intend to meet with bar owners to discuss “making the avenue unattractive to criminals” by encouraging them to hire police officers (preferably task force officers) on “extra duty.”

Intelligence units from adjacent divisions will team up to monitor people and activities on the avenue when major Carnival activities are taking place.

According to the document, police will clamp down on the illegal sale of food and drinks and Ministry of Health officers will be out to ensure vendors comply with the relevant health regulations.

Customs and Excise Division together with the CID will do spontaneous searches of businesses in the area.

Immigration authorities will also be used to monitor illegal migrants and wrecking will be re-implemented to “treat with indiscriminate parking,” the document said.