ACTING Police Commissioner Mc Donald Jacob is warning illegal quarry operators and squatters on state lands that the police will be targeting them.
In a media release on Thursday, Jacob said he and his executive met with chairman of the Sangre Grande Regional Corporation Anil Juteram and his council. Jacob promised to tackle unplanned developments and illegal quarrying.
Leading this drive will be ASP Haynes from the Multi-Agency Task Force. This unit, the release said, was specially trained and works with the Land Settlement Agency and other related agencies. Jacob said illegal quarrying and squatting are large contributors to crime in the division, as these activities lead to gang activity, violent crimes, and in some cases, murder.
Officers will be retrained and given the necessary equipment, such as boots for the terrain. Added to that, community-oriented policing will be used to “infiltrate the community” in order to dissuade residents from a life of crime through agricultural projects.
In May Energy Minister Stuart Young promised to tackle illegal quarrying, saying it was “not only destroying our environment, but it is also gangsterism. It is a brutal dishonest attack on what we, the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago, are entitled to in terms of the illegal extraction of aggregate from our lands as the people of TT.”
Young added that he is driven to deal with the problem, acknowledging that it will not be an easy task. The former national security minister saidt he had intelligence from his time as national security minister that he had been building on and would be tackling illegal quarrying in his new role.