Violent crime continues to be a challenge for the Tobago Division of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service. This was the revelation made by Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Tobago Garfield Moore, while speaking during the 10th Tobago town meeting held at the Glamorgan Community Centre on Wednesday evening.
As he addressed the small audience, Moore said he is concerned by the number of gun-related crimes on the island, as according to him, murders are up by 200 per cent while gun-related crimes are also on the rise.
“In 2016, we had four murders and at this point last year we had one murder but to date we have eight murders for the year. The shooting and wounding, there is also an increase. We are very concerned with the number of violent crime or shooting and wounding that we are having in Tobago. We have seen a trend where firearms have now become the weapon of choice,” he said.
Moore said Tobago police currently has an operating plan geared at alleviating the crime trends on the island.
“We have set certain targets: a five per cent reduction in serious crimes; a ten per cent reduction in murders;a five per cent reduction in murders;a five per cent reduction in violent crimes and a 30 per cent reduction rate in serious crimes. For Tobago, at this point in time, in terms of serious crimes we are at four per cent so we are one per cent short and we are hoping to make up that one per cent or more than the one per cent over the next few months. The detection rate which is 30 per cent, we have achieved a percentage of 33 per cent at this point in time so, we are well on course to maintain or go against the 30 per cent detection rate,” ACP Moore said.
Moore renewed his call for more collaboration between the police and members of the public, as he said the police cannot do it alone.
“I have addressed the Tobago community over and over with the issue of assisting the police in eradicating our various communities with the number of firearms. We have from time to time heard people making statements, ‘we don’t trust the police’ and ‘we’re not giving them any information’ but let us be real, all of us are a part of the Tobago community and just as we are trying to ensure that we eradicate the number of firearms on the island in the hands of the few people, you also have a responsibility. We really want you to partner with us as this is a situation we really do not want to get out of hand. The police cannot do it alone, let us join together,” the ACP said.