ACP in charge of crime Irwin Hackshaw believes the rumoured planned bloodshed between warring “Muslim” and “Rasta City” gangs at the end of Ramadan did not happen because of action taken by police to quell gang violence.
Hackshaw said when they learnt there might be an upsurge in gang-related killings after Ramadan, police stepped up their efforts in several areas and implemented a plan that included a heavy police/soldier presence, surveillance and information-gathering.
“We know who the gang members are, and which gangs they belong to. Based on information provided to us, those 215 gangs are being monitored around the clock and, with the anti-gang legislation in effect, those who flout the law will feel the full brunt of the law.”
He said most of the so-called Muslim and Rasta City gangs are based in the Western, Port of Spain, Northern and Central Divisions.
“In fact they are everywhere, but they mostly function in those four divisions, and we have been changing our strategies from time to time hoping to get the desired results.
While we know that some of these gangsters may be able to evade capture, the police continue to be relentless in their efforts to bring the perpetrators of gang-related murders to justice.”
Sources said yesterday that the Organised Crime and Intelligence Unit has been working closely with prison authorities and other agencies to infiltrate the two main gangs. They said in the Western division the Muslim and Rasta City gangs have approached senior officers, saying they want peace.
They have asked police to mediate in their attempt to stop the killings.
Western Division was described as a hotbed of activity for warring gangs which resulted in more than 30 murders for the year.
Acting CoP Stephen Williams recently instructed police in that division to target the gangs to ensure the killings come to an end or are decreased considerably. Police said they have been seeing the results.