Thursday 3 December, 2020

Gopeesingh calls for emergency meeting on crime in Central

Caroni East MP Dr Tim Gopeesingh is calling for an urgent meeting to discuss rising crime in his constituency.

In a statement issued Friday, Gopeesingh said there has been a "frightening and worrying escalation of criminal activities in various communities in that area and several other districts in Central Trinidad".

"This increase in criminal activity is, undoubtedly, an extension of the on-going national crime epidemic, which, as you know, has itself been a cause of grave national and individual concern for some years now."

"With regards to the various communities in Caroni East, specifically, residents have reported to me that there have been several homicides in recent weeks, a fact that was reported in the various media outlets as well. In addition, the residents have also noted that there has been a marked increase in a host of other offences such as assaults, robberies, home invasion and other serious crimes."

"The residents have informed me that as a result of this sudden, dangerous and seemingly uncontrollable rise in criminal activities in their respective communities, they have resorted to taking extreme precautionary and preventative measures to ensure that they and their dependants, inclusive of children and the elderly, avoid being victims of these heinous criminal acts. They have also pointed out to me that they have not had any indication thus far that these crimes are being dealt with by the relevant authorities."

Gopeesingh said residents have been forced to impose their own personal curfews on activities in order to protect themselves against crime.

"This, they have collectively noted, has had a tremendously negative impact on their overall well beings, as it has resulted in them living in a mind-set of unease, worry and general fear. Further, they have pointed out that the wide host of small businesses in the district, (which undoubtedly, you may know, is a major source of employment and revenue for the constituents of Caroni East) are now being adversely affected."

He added that business owners now have trouble hiring staff as they are unwilling to work in the area after dark.

"Several business owners have complained to me that, in addition to losing revenues due to the resident’s self-imposed curfew, they are now unable to attract employees willing to work after sunset."

Gopeesingh said residents are under siege.

"This situation, as you would appreciate, constitutes a serious, ongoing violation of the Constitutional rights of the residents of Caroni East, who, as citizens forced to live under this current crime siege, are being denied their democratic rights to safety and freedom of movement."

"It is against this backdrop, therefore, that I am officially requesting a meeting with your good self and any other relevant senior officers you may deem fit, to address in the broadest sense, and with an aim to immediately alleviating in any possible way, this very serious matter."

He is asking for the Commissioner of Police to meet to discuss emergency measures to address the issue. 

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