Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley says the government will host a national debate on the crime situation in Trinidad and Tobago as the number of murders climbed to 36 so far this year, including the killings of three relatives on Sunday.
Rowley told reporters that the consultation will take place in early March as he reiterated an appeal for people to help law enforcement agencies deal with the spike in criminality by reporting wrong doing to the police.
“You have some responsibility You cannot continue to pretend that you don’t know who is doing and what is going on and to expect miracle from the police to know who is doing, or thinking of doing it and who is hiding firearms…I am asking you to do the nation a favour in the house…and get that information to law enforcement,” Rowley said.
He said in other countries, citizens play an important role in curbing crime by providing the relevant information to the law enforcement agencies.
At the start of the New Year, Rowley said that in 2022, the country experienced the relentless assault of the criminal element, resulting in a record number of murders, facilitated, and bolstered by other alarming incidents of crime, such as persistent gun running, institutional corruption and facilitation as well as the ever-present growth of gang activity in many parts of the country.
“It is against this background that the Government commits to making 2023 a year of public review and consequent overhaul and redoubling of our efforts aimed at increased focus on,” he said then.
Meantime, the head of the Northern Division, Senior Superintendent, Kerwin Francis, warned parents that criminal gangs were out to snatch their children as the authorities investigate the murders of three people, including two brothers on Sunday.
“To parents, mothers and fathers, please pay careful attention to the activities of your children. You must understand that there are individuals who are determined and will wrestle control of your child where you have failed to take the required steps as a parent and indoctrinate them into a life of crime and criminality in their gangs.
“In those circumstances their lives now become open season to any gang with which the gang they are in is warring. Speak to your sons, speak to your daughters, you have a responsibility to preserve their lives and future,” the senior police officer told the media.
Police said that brothers Andre Singh, 16, and Jamal Hackshaw, 19, as well as their 16-year-cousin, Keron Modoo, were shot dead by unknown gunmen on Sunday.
Francis said that the three men were shot and killed at an unfinished concrete structure at D’ D’Abadie, along the east west corridor.
He said that three gunmen had alighted from a vehicle “and began firing shots in the direction” of the men.
Last year, Trinidad and Tobago recorded 606 murders.
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