Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 21st 2017 Contents news A5
Tuesday, February 21, 2017 guardian.co.tt
Inspections an ongoing thing
Wayne Richards says the Minis-
try of Transport was not behind
the recent spate of social media
messages warning motorists of
impending vehicle inspections
for stickers and certificates.
Richards was responding to queries
about several messages that have been
circulating via WhatsApp since late
last week warning about a Licensing
Division crackdown on vehicles that
have not been inspected and cleared
for the nation's roads.
The message warned members of
the public that from yesterday, the
police and Licensing officers would
be out in full force checking for vehicle
inspection stickers and certificates.
In a brief interview yesterday, how-
ever, Richards said they have always
been cracking down on delinquent
motorists and such drives were noth-
"The officers do their work and they
do a complete check, which includes
inspection of vehicles," he said.
He said the division would not
usually "warn motorists" because it
was normal for officers to do checks
"This (messaging) was not done
by the division. It's something they
(officers) always do, it is the law," he
"We do it on a daily basis, last
week and last year. They check for
everything. We don't make an an-
nouncement. Somebody decided to
make that and we don't need to do
that, that is our job."
The warning prompted motorist
to swarm authorised inspection fa-
cilities across the country yesterday.
Some of those stations were out of the
inspection stickers, prompting pan-
icking motorists to call media houses
to complain about the issue.
But Richards said he was not aware
that there was a surge in motorists
visiting testing stations because they
Also contacted yesterday, Trans-
port Minister Rohan Sinanan said the
inspections were part of the normal
process of business and was ongo-
ing, but referred all other questions
to Richards. However, president of
T&T Automotive Dealers Association
Visham Babwah said he fully support-
ed the inspections made.
"I fully supported the Licensing
Office and police to do the inspec-
tions. Little is being done sometimes,
or too late, with these roadblocks and
checks," he said.
Babwah said there were too many
uninsured vehicles, vehicles with
fraudulent insurances and vehicles
with fraudulent numbers driven in
"Maybe the ministry needs to look
at getting more officers out on a reg-
ular basis," he said.
According to the Motor Ve-
hicles and Road Traffic Act
chapter 48:50, Part V, section
27 (11) A registered owner of
a private motor vehicle or mo-
torcycle, public service motor
vehicle, rental car, goods ve-
hicle, omnibus or trailer who
fails to produce the vehicle for
inspection or drives the vehicle
without obtaining an inspection
sticker and certificate in accor-
dance with these Regulations
commits an offence and is lia-
ble, on summary conviction, to
a fine of five thousand dollars.
Acting Police Commissioner
Stephen Williams has defended
his decision to hold inter-faith
services for officers in the ser-
vice's bid to reduce violent
crimes across the country.
Speaking at a press conference at
the Police Administration Building,
Port-of-Spain, yesterday, Williams
dismissed criticism of the initia-
tive, which he said was aimed at
lifting the spiritual well-being
of his officers and boosting their
"This has nothing to do with the
TTPS putting up its hands. This is
more than an annual inter-faith
service, it is engagement across the
entire organisation, embracing all
the citizens and religious groups, so
we can call on that supreme being
to be part of this effort to make T&T
a safer place," Williams said.
The initiative, in which all divi-
sional commanders were mandated
to hold the services in their areas,
has already been implemented in
seven of nine divisions.
While he assured the TTPS was
working hard to ensure the lev-
el of service provided to citizens
improves, Williams again urged
citizens to assist police in their
"Be part of it, because standing
at the side is not enough for us to
make a difference. Every single
citizen has a contribution to make.
"If everyone can do something
good, don't matter how small, it
will contribute in a collective way to
a big good for the nation," he said.
Although Williams admitted
that the TTPS would not be able
to notice tangible results from the
initiative until crime statistics are
analysed at year's end, he expressed
optimism over its immediate im-
"I am saying we are focusing on
the police officers so we can lift
"If we are able to do so, I'm sure
the police officers can function
consistent with their oath of office
and in a professional manner and
everything else negative with the
TTPS will change," he said.
In addition to the initiative, Wil-
liams claimed the TTPS had a new
mandate to focus on the prosecu-
tion of firearm cases, as 80 per cent
of murders are committed using
Noting that they seized a record
765 illegal firearms last year, Wil-
liams said: "It is not about seizing,
it's about prosecuting. We are pri-
oritising the prosecution of firearm
offenders and see if that will see a
drop in the violence."
He also announced that the
TTPS was the first police service
in the world to pioneer the use of
hemostatic bandages by officers
responding to shootings. The band-
ages are used by first responders
to reduce bleeding to shooting and
While he said details of the re-
sults of that initiative will be an-
nounced at a later date, he said pre-
liminary figures were encouraging.
"We will see when the data is
tabulated and published.
"But we have been seeing a pos-
itive correlation between the usage
of hemostatic bandages in locations
where persons have been shot, in
aiding in saving the lives of indi-
viduals," he said.
Female cop, child escape abductors after getaway car crashes
A 31-year-old woman police
constable and her four-year-
old child had a lucky escape af-
ter they were abducted during
a home invasion at her family's
Tamana home on Sunday night.
The cop and her child walked away
from the ordeal when her abductors
abandoned her and their getaway
vehicle after it crashed into a mo-
torcyclist and ran off the road.
The mother and child were said to
be still traumatised last night after
being treated and discharged from
the Sangre Grande Hospital.
According to police reports,
around 9.30 pm Sunday, three armed
men entered the cop's home, where
they beat the family, which includ-
ed the victim's brother, father and
mother. Her brother was also stabbed
during the attack.
The bandits then bundled the
officer and her child into the back
seat of the vehicle and drove off with
them. However, a short while later
the bandit at the wheel crashed into
a motorcycle rider, lost control of the
car and ran off the road. The bandits
immediately abandoned the vehicle
and hostages and escaped on foot
into the Tamana Forest.
The barefooted officer and her
baby were rescued by residents and
taken back home to relatives, after
which they were carried to the hospi-
tal. The victim's brother, father and
mother also received medical treat-
ment and they too were said to be
Cpl de La Rosa and PC Cielto, of
the Sangre Grande CID, were the first
responders and were later joined by
Cumuto police and Northern Divi-
Villagers told police the ban-
dits were taken to the village by a
PH driver. He was detained while
making his way out of Tamana on
foot and was being interrogated up
to last night.
Angry villagers are now calling
on acting Commissioner of Police
Stephen Williams to increase patrol
in this rural village, as criminals are
now targeting them.
Investigators said they had no mo-
tive for the attempted kidnapping.
Acting Police Commissioner
Stephen Williams at yesterday's
press conference at the Police
Administration Building, Port-of-
Spain. PHOTO: SHIRLEY BAHADUR
Transport boss says online message bogus
'A morale boost for my officers'
for life after
T&T Defence Force mem-
ber, Lance Cpl Ian Carter, was
fighting for his life at the Eric
Williams Medical Sciences
Complex,Mt Hope,last night,
after he was shot by bandits in
Maloney Sunday night.
According to a police report,
at about 4.30 pm a gunman
approached a group of men, in-
cluding Carter, who were liming
near Building 10 and announced
a hold up. The men, police said,
retaliated, causing the gunman
to open fire.
Carter was hit in the neck,
chest and groin. Another uni-
dentified man was also grazed
by a bullet.
Carter was taken to the Arima
District Hospital and transferred
to the EWMSC.
In a release yesterday, the
TTDF said Acting Commanding
Officer, Col Dexter Francis, had
pledged to commit "the neces-
sary resources in support of the
TTPS to bring the perpetrators of
this heinous act to justice."
Members of the public who
may have credible information
are asked to call 800-TIPS (8477),
or the 555 or 999 lines or lodge
a report at any police station or
Investigations are continuing.
Army corporal Ian Carter
CoP defends divisional inter-faith services
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