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Sunday 19 January 2020
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Letters to the Editor

Gang warfare may never end

THE EDITOR: Any form of disrespect can lead to death in the meaningless gang warfare in Laventille that is increasingly placing the innocent at risk. This war is deep-rooted and may never end because of the senselessness of it all.

Gangs are by no means a new phenomenon, but they are still a serious problem that has to be addressed. However, there appears to be no easy solutions.

These gangs have become one of the country’s most serious crime problems, tarnishing our reputation as a peaceful, fun-loving nation.

They dominate the headlines with assaults, drive-by shootings, homicides, and brutal home invasions and account for the biggest personal threats to public safety

With gang-related murders increasing, according to the statistics, they present a clear and present danger to public order and safety and seriously threaten the tourism industry in Tobago as many tourists are opting for vacations elsewhere.

Gangs and youth violence have been a serious problem in TT for several years. This is not a problem that developed overnight. This fact is widely known, but we need to accept that over the years not enough was done to deal with the underlying drivers of the violence.

A news report states, “A recent drive-by shooting took place involving a black Nissan Tiida that left three men dead at Springside Avenue, Eastern Quarry in Laventille. Sources said that a ‘call’ was made prior to the shooting. A volley of gunshots was reportedly heard.

“The victim who died on the scene was identified as 30-year-old Shemarke Wickham while the other two were identified as Saleem Peters, 16, a student of Servol, of old St Joseph Road, Laventille and 37-year-old Damien Granger, alias Duck, of Eastern Quarry, Laventille. A fourth man identified as Jason Prince, alias 'Cat,' 40, also of Eastern Quarry in Laventille, was shot in the leg and is said to be in a stable condition.

“The relatives of Wickham said that he was not in any wrongdoing and they cannot come to terms with his senseless death. Some family members are inconsolable at this time.”

We may never be able to stop this kind of violence.


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