Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 12th 2013 Contents A13
Thursday, December 12, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Organised criminals have
expanded their technological
artillery to execute crime behind
the backs of law enforcement offi-
However, crime-fighting strate-
gies, including computer crime scene
re-enactments, shoeprint analysis,
forensic black light analysis and psy-
chological profiling are still not
utilised by local police officers.
High-tech equipment such as
panoramic cameras, 360-degree
crime scene room scanners, devices
to match bullet casings like finger-
prints and a high definition impres-
sion analyser are available on the
international market but not in T&T.
This is why calls are now being
made for the Government to wage
war on the criminals using advanced
technology to improve T&T s
abysmal crime detection rate of less
than ten per cent.
In an interview last week, former
assistant commissioner of police
Winston Cooper said criminals were
ahead of the game in their use of
technology. He said a registry of all
sex offenders in T&T still has not
yet been established.
"I am disappointed by the T&T
Police Service. They have let me
down badly because everything has
fallen apart since I left. Highly-
trained forensic crime-fighting
officers are no longer part of the
team," Cooper said.
He added that a senior computer
CCTV analyst who returned to
Trinidad after working abroad for
years, has not been able to find work.
Cooper said while existing legislation
was sufficient to deal with crime,
implementation of crime strategies
continues to be a major problem.
Meanwhile, forensic pathologist
Dr Valerie Alexandrov said the use
of forensics methods in evidence
gathering can help police in their
war against the criminals. He said
there were delays in processing evi-
dence because the Forensic Sciences
Centre in St James was closed on
"Detection of crime depends on
time and how fast we can process
evidence to point the police in the
right direction. The whole process
is upside down. Forensic pathologists
are not called on crime scenes and
if someone is killed on the weekend,
we have to wait until Monday or
Tuesday to do the autopsy," he said.
In the meantime, Alexandrov said
the body can be tampered with as
it is lodged in the hospital mortuary
or funeral home. He called for more
training of police officers in forensic
methodology saying this may be one
of the ways to solve crime.
However, Minister of National
Security Gary Griffith said improved
technology are being utilised in the
"Our plan is to optimise the use
of technology and information man-
agement. We are in an era where
crime is becoming more technolog-
ically intensive; criminals are finding
new ways to use technology to com-
mit crimes. As such, technology is
very important in our crime-fighting
strategies," Griffith said.
"The use of GPS-equipped cellular
telephones and vehicles in patrol
management, CCTV cameras in
strategic locations are a few exam-
ples. There are other areas where
technology is used in crime inves-
tigation; however these cannot be
disclosed for security reasons."
He said training remains high on
the TTPS s agenda.
"Officers continue to be trained
on a regular basis to deal with the
complexities associated with major
homicides and other serious crimes
such as sexual offences, cyber-crime,
fraud, domestic violence, gang vio-
lence, human trafficking, money
laundering. These training sessions
are conducted both locally and inter-
nationally thereby increasing the
officers capacity to effectively inves-
tigate these offences," Griffith said.
He added that officers are also
receiving training in crime scene
investigations, adding there are ten
cases before the courts.
During his recent official visit to
the United Kingdom, Griffith said
he met with a number of UK security
companies, to provide land and mar-
itime assets and equipment for the
Defence Force and the TTPS.
"I had the opportunity to view
armoured vehicles, hovercrafts and
interceptors. The hovercraft has the
capability to manoeuvre in swamps,
rivers and shallow water areas that
are inaccessible to the regular Coast
Guard vessel. It can operate over flat
surfaces including mud, logs and
debris and in most rugged terrain"
Police sources said these craft can
be used on the south western coast-
line where drugs are brought in on
a daily basis.
Griffith also said four interceptors
will be purchased within the next
year to assist in pursuit and patrol.
He said armoured vehicles will also
be purchased and used to transport
various calibres of weapons for sol-
diers who will be operating them in
high risk areas.
With regard to counter terrorism
and covert operations, Griffith said
he will dismantle gangs and transna-
tional criminal activities by putting
the law enforcement officers to com-
bat any possible insurgency that may
"The particular areas that will be
targeted are Riot Control, proper
establishment of a Counter Terrorism
Unit and training, as well as devel-
opment of HUMINT (Human Intel-
ligence) capabilities," Griffith said.
He also promised to boost existing
"To further compliment the
acquisition of these military assets
and increase the capability at ports
and possible points of entry, a com-
prehensive audit of the K9 Units will
be undertaken to establish a sus-
tainable programme," he said.
Griffith said he also intended to
work with UK forensic science com-
pany CARIFOR, to assist in strength-
ening the procedures of local forensic
laboratories, in an effort to improve
the detection and conviction rate of
He also added that CCTVs will be
locked into all Rapid Response Unit
vehicles to provide real time infor-
mation to the Operational Centre.
As Govt steps up fight against crime...
plans to go hi-tech
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Dr Valery Alexandrov
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