Despite recording the highest number of kidnappings for the past eight years, in 2017, ACP Anti-Crime Operations Irwin Hackshaw says the police service is working at full capacity to treat with such incidents and expressed optimism that increased police presence and improved intelligence gathering techniques would bring an end to kidnappings.
Newsday spoke with Hackshaw yesterday who said that while there is room for improvement, he believes officers are doing their best in the fight against crime and added that for all kidnapping incidents last year, people have been held and questioned.
“We had a spike in kidnappings for 2017, but it’s not at an alarming rate. There were incidents which were dealt with and people arrested for these incidents. What we continue to do is inform the public on safety and security as well as through improved technological capabilities, to try and bring kidnappings to a halt. So we are aware of the situation and are prepared to treat with it.”
Last year, there were seven reported kidnappings, the highest number in a year since 2008, when there were 11 reported kidnappings. Undoubtedly, the biggest kidnapping story of 2017 was that of Gregory Laing, 53, owner of Puff n’ Stuff Bakery who was snatched outside the Circular Road, San Fernando bakery last June. A $270,000 ransom was demanded.
Laing was later released unharmed. Investigations subsequently led to a Laventille man being arrested and charged for the kidnapping and that case is currently pending before the courts.
On Saturday, a Diego Martin man was abducted and dumped into the trunk of a car shortly after he left the Trinidad Hilton where he was liming. The man later managed to escape and made a report to police. Four men including a policeman have been arrested.