The raid was supervised by Insp Sahadeo Singh of Besson Street. Officers descended swiftly into the housing development along Nelson Street arresting 22 persons and seizing a quantity of illegal items.
Up to late yesterday, the exact quantity of the materials seized was still being tallied by the police officers during the exercise.
The exercise began just before 3 pm and ended at 4.15 pm. National Security helicopter ‘Viper One’ provided aerial surveillance support during the raid and circled several areas in the area where the raids were taking place.
Police sources indicated that the exercise was a success and is a part of wider anti-crime initiatives being implemented during the state of emergency.
However, the story as told by the residents in the area was far removed from the peaceful exercise as conveyed by the police officers. While several persons refused to be identified when approached by the media, they made it clear that they thought the police had targeted them and that they were in fact “all victims.”
“It was raining when they came in. Men was sheltering under a roof or by the shop or in their homes when one by one the police appeared and began roughing up all of us. We didn’t even have a chance to react, they were all upon us and forcing people onto the ground in a line. Then they brought out their sniffer dogs and began searching everybody,” a resident recalled.
Some of the residents said they heard several “explosions” during the police exercise and indicated that they had been shot at. There were even reports that the police had cornered a group of men on the roof tops of a building along Charlotte Street, and that several loud explosions were heard when the officers went to arrest the men.
However, up to press time these allegations could not be confirmed.