New Americas Now and other media outlets are reporting that Trinidad and Tobago’s Ministry of National Security raised the country’s alert level on Sunday, January 4 in direct response to a spike in gang-related homicides.
According to Fox News Latino, Trinidad and Tobago's government said Monday it was raising law enforcement agencies' state of alert after a spike in gang-related homicides claimed 10 lives in the first few days of 2015. There were 16 murders in the first week of 2014, according to the Fox News Latino report.
The Alert State will be led by the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) and the National Operations Centre (NOC), the joint exercise coordinating agency.
The measures to be used in this heightened Alert State include increased visibility of Joint Police Service/Defence Force patrols throughout Trinidad and Tobago; increase in air patrols and air surveillance in support of the TTPS ground initiatives; increased roadblocks and stop and search activities; and increased intelligence and surveillance exercises, specifically in all crime hot spots and among persons of interest.
The general public is asked to comply with all instructions of law enforcement personnel, especially when stopped and questioned during this time. According to the release, the current alert state of readiness is in no way intended to curtail civil liberties but has become necessary to ensure the safety and security for all.