Tuesday, April 2, 2013

17 murders in March; lowest in six years thanks to help from soldiers: Ag CoP

File: Stephen Williams
Acting Commissioner of Police (CoP) Stephen Williams has said March 2013 had the lowest murder toll in six years and he credits that to help from soldiers.

Williams made the point in an interview with the Newsday newspaper.

“You will have recognised that for the month of March we had the opposite to what we had in February in terms of violent crime,” Williams told the paper. 

“We have had a major reduction in murders and shootings and other violent crime incidents, so that is what we achieved."

He explained why. "The police and the soldiers at the beginning of March went into a very high activity mode of policing, with our dominance by the area of Laventille where we were facing the highest number of murders for 2013. 

"We dominated that area with the presence of police officers and soldiers patrolling, mobile and on foot. We have in fact increased the presence across the entire nation — all nine police divisions — with a clear, targeted strategy to reduce violent crime and it has worked up to now.” 

Williams said it is obvious that a greater police effort is needed to keep crime down. He said, "The fantastic thing is that the month of March had 17 murders, a figure which we have not beat in Trinidad and Tobago — as low as 17 in any month — except for the three months when we had the State of Emergency when we had 15, 13 and 16 murders for September, October and November.”

He added, "There have no other month within the last six years where you had 17 or a figure close to 17 murders. So that is significant. I hope you could report that.”

Williams told the paper he did not want to comment on the political issue before the senate Tuesday, which is the debate on the bill that would give soldiers some police powers, including the authority to make arrests. "I will carry out whatever is the legal mandate and that is my role," he told Newsday.

He added, "I’m looking at what is the outcome of the Senate debate and coming out of that I will know what I have to do by way of supportive action to implement the bill if it is passed, and if it is not passed well then I would also have to strategise around things that I would have to do from a policing perspective."

One hundred people have been murdered in T&T since the beginning of the year - more than one a day.

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai