AS murders in the Port of Spain and East Port of Spain increase, acting Deputy Commissioner of Police Wendell Williams said the proliferation of guns is responsible.
At the police service’s weekly media briefing on Thursday, Williams said more guns resulted in more killings.
Williams who is in charge of intelligence and investigations said, based on his opinion, the proliferation of firearms, “for sure,” is a main cause.
“Undoubtedly we have more guns and we have been seizing guns all the time. A Venezuelan national was arrested yesterday with a firearm and ammunition, that's indicative of some of the challenges that we have to deal with, this flow or relationship.
"The fact of the matter is that we have these issues to deal with and that certainly contributed to our challenge.”
Williams’ connection of guns coming from Venezuela differs from acting Police Commissioner Mc Donald Jacob, who on August 15 said intelligence suggests that guns are coming through the legal ports of entry.
He said there are people in the US who were arrested for sending guns to Trinidad and Tobago as he dismissed the notion that the bulk of illegal guns were coming from Venezuela.
Williams added that apart from guns there is the issue of gangs where members feel liberated to do what they want.
“From time to time we do have the increase in gang violence and we take steps as we are doing now to bring that under control.”
At least six men were murdered this month in Port of Spain with the most recent taking place while the victim was at work. The murder of Delano Pierre on Tuesday, police said, was linked to ongoing gang war between Rasta City and Six gangs.
Pierre, who was killed while leaving the Port of Spain City Corporation’s divisional headquarters at the corner of Quarry and Observatory Streets, was not involved in criminal activity and killed because he lived in Gonzales.
A day earlier, Rasta City gang member Avery Weekes was shot near to where Pierre was murdered. Weekes died at the Port of Spain General Hospital.
On Wednesday, a day after Pierre’s murder, Jervon Roberts died at hospital after he was shot at Argyle Street, Gloster Lodge, Gonzales.
Three other men, including two PH taxi drivers who were killed in Gonzales and Belmont days apart were also victims of the war. The murdered taxi drivers were Rassan Richardson – who police said was killed because he was seen transporting men from Rasta City – and Ricardo Simon.
On August 9, Richardson was driving along Gloster Lodge Road, Gonzales, when he was shot. He died at the scene. Seven days earlier Simon was killed while driving along Hermitage Road, Belmont. He lived at Upper Wharton Street, Laventille.
Police said Celestine Richards, who was their main suspect in the murder of Richardson was killed by police on August 18. On August 15, Micah Cipriani, a friend of Richards, who police said was a member of the Six Gang, was killed
Cipriani who lived at Roslyn Street, Belmont, was shot while walking along Margaret’s Lane in a driveby and died at the Port of Spain General Hospital.
Police said the killings between Rasta City and Six escalated when Six Gang affiliate Joel Williams was killed after he was shot in the head on South Quay on July 14.
Commenting on that killing, Williams said: “From the day I saw that killing on the South Quay area, I had a little extra concern. The perpetrator acted somewhat independently. The manner of doing it in the city, certainly speaks volumes.”
Williams said, based on his faith and 39 years in the police service, he felt safe in the capital.