The Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) has its eyes set on going high tech in its detection of crime for the upcoming Christmas Season, according to Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Edvin Martin.
The Third raking officer in the force was briefing reporters on Monday on the RGPF operations for the Christmas Season, which began one month ago.
ACP Martin said the force is in possession of some body cams and is contemplating having them implemented in its operation.
He said that as a new thrust in the police force, it will incorporate technology in routine policing as a means of improving the RGPF efficiency and effectiveness.
“We are looking at introducing the use of body cam and when we are ready to do that launch… we will then indicate to you (the media),” he told reporters.
ACP Martin who is head of operations at RGPF gave a detailed account of the plan the Force has in place to curb crime over the Christmas Season.
He stressed that the lawmen are committed to ensuring a safe and secure environment for businesses, visitors and members of the general public, free of the perception and fear of crime.
According to ACP Martin, the operation has already begun to yield success for RGPF.
He spoke of the lawmen being able to seize a 1.25 firearm, as well as confiscating of over two hundred and eleven pounds of compressed marijuana, and crack/cocaine.
The police have also collected in excess of $15,000.00 from the execution of commitment warrants and from the execution of warrants from the courts on civilians.
ACP Martin disclosed that three persons who were in violation have been sent to prison.
The senior Police Officer told reporters that eleven (11) persons have already been arrested as part of the special Christmas operation of the police force and over two hundred traffic tickets were issued.
ACP Martin announced that there will be an increased police presence around shopping centres, places of entertainment, and tourist attractions in the coming days.
“Throughout this period, the public will notice a gradual increase in the presence of police on the streets as we move closer to Christmas.
This increase seeks to reassure the public, deter criminal activity, as well as position our units to take pre-emptive action to prevent the occurrence or escalation of any particular incident,” he said.
The high-ranking police officer is confident that RGPF is armed with the necessary manpower to successfully undertake the operation.
He said the force will readjust its strategies and the use of its manpower to meet the demands of the holiday season.
All Police Officers who are on vacation will be recalled to duty in addition to using the personnel from the specialised and administrative departments to augment the manpower that is required.
ACP Martin admitted that although the broad spectrum of law enforcement will be addressed, there are some crimes that are uniquely associated with the yuletide season and identified stealing and harm offenses as areas of concern.
The RGPF Christmas operation goes into high gear on Christmas Eve and on Old Year’s night, which are regarded as the busiest days of the Christmas Season.
ACP Martin revealed that special units will be placed at strategic locations in and around the major towns, as well as increases in patrols as RGPF is mindful of late-night business activities which he believes can present potential soft targets for criminal personnel.
“These patrols will be firm in their actions, and will respond to any infraction of the law including illicit drugs and offensive weapons,” he said.
Local show business promoters will also be engaged by the police force to ensure that adequate security arrangements are in place for all events over the Xmas holidays.
ACP Martin appealed for the discretion and compliance of promoters using amplified sounds as the police is cognisant of the potential impact of noise pollution in villages.
RGPF has established a command and control mechanism to ensure that there is fluidity and synergy across all stations and departments as the operation is implemented.
A reserved force will be held at all stations and divisions for the purpose of responding to any incident that may occur over the holiday season.
The head of RGPF Operations said there will also be increased coast guard patrols in and around marinas and anchorage locations throughout the State, as well as intensifying and targeting illicit drug trafficking and drug peddling activity.
Superintendent John Mitchell who also attended the press briefing made a special appeal to homeowners to exercise caution during the Christmas Season so as to avoid house fires.
Supt. Mitchell who is a former Fire Chief said for too many years there have been house fires that could have been prevented.
He spoke of these fires occurring as persons fail to simply apply elementary fire prevention measures.
The former Fire Chief also indicated that Christmas lights play a role in house fires.
He also warned against leaving children at home by themselves and unsupervised with the additional lights, and electronic toys, which can result in fires.
He said the use of additional appliances can overload the electrical circuits, which can cause a fire.
“It is proven, and we just want to guide the general public,” Supt Mitchell said.