According to CANA. the president of the Downtown Owners and Merchants Association (DOMA) Gregory Aboud, says the “honeymoon” for Police Commissioner, Gary Griffith and National Security Minister, Stuart Young and called for more effective action to deal with the crime situation in Trinidad and Tobago.
“We would like to signal our growing impatience and anxiety with the lack of actions regarding persons who are free to kill,” Aboud told the Trinidad Express newspaper on Monday.
Both Young and Griffith were appointed to their respective positions last August and Aboud said his organisation was ‘among those that were very supportive and enthusiastic, not only about the appointment of Gary Griffith as commissioner of police, but also the appointment of Stuart Young as minister of national security.
“But we feel entitled to say, with respect, not wanting to be disrespectful to either but wanting to intimate a strong sense of impatience now, that the honeymoon is over and it is high time that something be one to confront the freeness with which persons are able to kill in broad daylight, without fear of any accountability or fear of being apprehended”.
At least 516 people were murdered here last year and so far this year, more than 240 people have been killed.
Aboud told the Express newspaper that Griffith, in particular, “needs to recognise that where justice is not dispensed by the State agencies, particularly the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service that in itself is an injustice being perpetrated on the society.
“The failure to hold accountable those who are killing so freely in broad daylight, including women and children, are being encouraged to do as they want because there is no fear of being arrested. We would like to suggest that the commissioner stop everything he is doing and try to apprehend one murderer, and then try to make it one at a time. He can start with one case.”
He said it was also critical of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) claims that some 15 per cent of violent crime is being solved as it includes domestic violence cases where the perpetrator surrendered.
“Surely that should not be part of the data. We hope the commissioner understands we are left with no choice but to make this call publicly since our contributions and consultations and suggestions, made in previous meetings, seem to have brought no results whatsoever.
“We are being treated to public relations events by the minister and at the level of the protective services, and we have seen enough of that and now the country needs to see some sort of action, particularly as it relates to murder,” Aboud said, noting that he was also was horrified at the number of children falling victim to crime.
He told the newspaper that he hopes the passage of the Firearms Bill that provides for life imprisonment for gun related offences, would deter some gun crimes.
“We recognise the good intentions of government in wanting to legislate a solution that is destroying the fabric of our society,” he said, noting however, legislation must be implemented to be effective.
“We are tired of ineffective leadership, and request a change of course and more work on the ground by the commissioner and his people,” Aboud told the newspaper.
Meanwhile, the latest murder reported by police occurred in Mayaro, south east of here, where 16-year-old boy after he was killed at his Mayaro home on Sunday night.
Christian Smith was shot and killed in the living room of his New Lands Village, Guayaguayare, home.
Police said he had been shot several times.
His body was discovered by his mother, Martha, who after hearing the gunshots saw her son with gunshot wounds to the face bleeding on the floor.
Police recovered nine spent shells at the scene.