Tobago police want time to solve the island's worsening crime situation.
On Friday, Supt Rodhill Kirk sought to assure the public that they are doing all in their power to ensure they are in control of what is taking place on the island.
He was speaking on the Tobago Updates morning show.
“We, the police in Tobago, are doing all within our power to make sure that we are in control of what is taking place. We know that some people look at speed rather than accuracy but just give us that chance to do what we need to do. Rest assured within the next couple weeks, we would have some normalcy returned – all our crime fighting initiatives has already started, just be a bit patient with us and allow us to do what we need to do to create that safe environment within the Tobago public.”
Kirk was present for a joint press conference on May 10, between the Tobago House of Assembly, the police service and the Defence Force (TTDF) outlining the joint security effort aimed at fighting against the increase in gang-related crime on the island.
At that press conference, ACP Collis Hazel announced the initiative saying that the joint force is a measure meant to deal with gangs believed to be behind the spate of murders. For the year so far, Tobago has recorded six murders.
Admitting that the exercises have started and were in full swing, Kirk said police exercises could mean inconvenience for the public.
“But this is just a matter of making the place safe for you. I want to give the public the assurance that the police would abide strictly within the laws of Trinidad and Tobago in the execution of their duties and just bear with us with the little inconvenience you may experience from time to time with the police operating on the roadways or in the communities.”
When asked about known hotspots across the island, he said it was hard to identify any specific area.
“Even within the town of Scarborough, there are several areas that we have seen a little spike in certain activities. So I wouldn’t want to call one particular village, the police are aware of some of the players in this space and we have always been targeting those players and we would continue, we would be consistent until we could have some level of control or normalcy within this space.”
He urged the public to speak out against crime and take back their communities.
“When you stand and say nothing, it affects the entire community. We live in this space so our mindsets in Tobago have to change. You know some time when you leave some things, after a while it festers into something huge and then it becomes out of control, we need to get away from that mindset.”
He added: “Where there are drugs, you see the drugs and ammunition come forth and then you see the fight for turf. So we need not encourage these activities within our space. The Tobago public need to change their mindset, this is our space...We need to take back our communities.”