CENTRAL Division police along with members of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church and other activist groups joined in an anti-crime rally aimed at steering the youths of Kelly Village, Caroni away from crime.
The event was a collaboration with Single Fathers' Association, Tunapuna/Piarco Regional Corporation, officials from University of West Indies, University of Trinidad and Tobago, representatives from the Single Mothers' Association and other groups.
Snr Supt Earl Elie of the Guard and Emergency Branch said the event aims to “bring a sense of hope to the community that something good will come about.
“We are hoping that by the end of this event, today and several events we have planned for the district, the community can see a turnaround. The community is plagued with crime and you would recall there was a series of murders last year. There were eight or nine murders in this community. After a recent town meeting, together, we are looking at ways to deal with things that cause the crime.”
Elie said the police have also increased patrols in and around the community and noted there has been a reduction in murders in the area.
“I hope this initiative will catch on in other areas and the police look forward to partnering with all stakeholders.”
Supt Miguel Montrichard of the Central Division said, “Our role is to support and ensure people feel safe through a closer partnership with the public."
Seventh-Day Adventist pastor Clive Dottin said with faith, residents of the Kelly Village community can influence young people away from a life of crime and win the battle against criminals.
“We have one main commonality; we want to see the end of crime. Should the criminals feel they win the battle, we are not going to allow them. We are going to fight them, we have the helmet of salvation, the shield of faith, the breastplate of righteousness and the sword of the spirit which is the word of God.”
He said criminal gangs have extended their reach in secondary schools using students.
“They have a structured programme to capture the youths but we are saying today we are launching a unity battle to destroy the mafia vampires, by day and night, and by God we are going to win the battle.”
The event ended in a procession along several streets where known drug blocks operate.