Trinidad Makes 147 More Arrests in Ongoing State of Emergency

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Above: Trinidad PM Kamla Persad-Bissessar (FP)

Trinidad’s State of Emergency continued today, with Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar announcing that 147 more people had been arrested, 75 of whom were involved with gang activity and eight of whom were related to homicides.

A total of 462 people have been arrested since Trinidad declared what it called a limited State of Emergency Sunday night following 11 murders in one day in the country.

“Those apprehended are the individuals and groups that have been creating some of the most vicious attacks on communities and innocent men, women and children throughout the country,” Persad-Bissessar said. “We now have them, hundreds of the, they are no longer out there to harm [citizens] and [their] loved ones.”

The prime minister said the country was safer due to the efforts of police and law enforcement units throughout the country. As part of the emergency powers proclaimed Sunday night, the Trinidad Defence Force was also authorized to make arrests.

“The country can breathe a lot easier,” she said. “All of our strategies are falling into place and life goes on more peacefully and progressively than it has been in quite a long time.”

The first phase of the State of Emergency is slated to last 15 days, the prime minister said, after which the government will unveil a plan of action for so-called “hotspots” focusing on community development programmes.

Persad-Bissessar was speaking to announce a major thrust for development on Port of Spain’s Seafront at Invaders’ Bay and City Centre that includes 3,000 new housing starts in the country.