TTPS: 110 held for home-invasions over past 8 months

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Commissioner of Police Erla Harewood-Christopher. FILE PHOTO – ROGER JACOB

The TTPS is saying that over the past eight months, its officers have arrested 110 people for home-invasions.

The issue of home-invasions is a talking point amid recent incidents including an elderly woman being murdered in her own home by a man who wanted her pension money, and a would-be intruder being shot dead by a woman using a male relative’s licensed firearm.

A TTPS release on Wednesday said these arrests came as investigators continue to “intensify efforts” to restore safety and security across the country.

These arrests, the release added, were a result of strategies adopted by Commissioner of Police Erla Harewood-Christopher and the police service to tackle incidences of robberies, house break-ins, burglaries and other gang-related offences.

From January-July, the TTPS claimed there was a reduction in serious crimes across ten policing divisions compared to the same period in 2022.

Among these strategies are the creation of a team comprising officers from the Western Division’s CID and Gang Unit, the PoS and Northern divisions’ Gang Units, as well as officers from the Southern, Central and South Western Divisions, led by ACP Kent Ghisyawan.

This team was and is actively utilising intelligence-led policing which is data-driven and bolstered with timely crime analysis from the Crime and Problem Analysis Branch (CAPA) to guide the deployment of resources where they are needed the most.

Increased active direct patrols and visibility in communities and business areas are also serving as critical deterrents to criminal activities, the TTPS claimed.

None of these strategies will be successful however, without the co-operation of citizens who provide the police with information on crime in their communities via community watch groups, station council meetings and by calling 999 and Crime Stoppers at 800-TIPS.

While police are claiming a reduction in serious crimes this year, several incidents have occurred including a 75-year-old pensioner being beaten to death during a home-invasion incident.

On July 7, Lutchmin Bickram returned home from the bank after cashing her pension cheque, only to be attacked by a man inside her bedroom. The incident took place after 3 pm.

The grandmother was beaten and robbed of over $3,000. She was later taken to hospital where she died from injuries sustained in that attack.

In another incident, a man who jumped over a fence and was violently shaking the front door of a house in Chaguanas on Saturday, was shot dead by a woman in the house, who used a male relative’s licensed pistol. She fired the shot through a burglar-proofed window.

Speaking on this particular incident at the UNC’s public meeting on Monday, Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar promised easier access to FULs in her party forms the next Government. She said the time had come for law-abiding citizens to fight fire with fire in defence of their families and properties.

“When the criminals invade your home, draw your licensed firearms and light them up. Empty the whole clip and reload too. Fight fire with fire.”