Tobago ACP wants home for Canaan/Bon Accord Police Youth Club to help curb crime

ACP Collis Hazel - File photo
ACP Collis Hazel - File photo

HEAD of the Tobago Division, ACP Collis Hazel, is urging the State, THA and private sector to partner with the police to provide a home for the Canaan/Bon Accord Police Youth Club.

He made the appeal on April 9 while delivering opening remarks at a town meeting, hosted by the Tobago Division, at the Canaan/Bon Accord Multipurpose Facility, Centre Street.

Representatives of other arms of national security, including the Fire Services and Defence Force, were also present.

Hazel said he and other executive members met with youth club leaders on April 8 to discuss issues confronting groups.

He said most of the crime and criminal activities taking place in Tobago were being carried out by young people.

Describing this as a “dangerous pathway,” Hazel said the officers and club leaders sat for over six hours strategising on how to remodel their operations to deal with crime and criminality among the island’s youth.

He told the small gathering, which included several retired police officers, that Canaan/Bon Accord was “under the radar."

“This community showed statistics where young people were heavily involved. We had situations where persons are in the process of recruiting for gangs in communities throughout Tobago and therefore that is a worrying trend.”

Hazel, the leader of the Roxborough Police Youth Club, said young people must be provided with productive alternatives to a life of crime.

“A special appeal is therefore urged on policymakers because Canaan/Bon Accord is one of the areas that had a police youth club and has been struggling in the darkness for a home for years, having had three successful projects that were not funded by the THA but funded by other agencies that had to cancel, scrap, wrap up because of not having a home in order to execute these projects.”

He continued, “So it is my business as the assistant commissioner to make a plea to the powers that be and the business community to ensure that we keep the young people in this community under our radar.

“The Devil finds work for idle hands and if three projects that were funded by the private sector had to be scrapped because of a venue, it says something is wrong where young people ought to be participating and changing their behaviour to adapt to a new way of living.”

Hazel said the police service, at this point, cannot provide a home for the young people to congregate.

“Therefore, if we can’t provide a home for them, we are leaving other opportunities for the gang leaders to provide a heaven for them. So there is a clarion call by the ASP for that partnership within the State and business community to work with us in helping these young persons.”

He said from a policing perspective, Canaan/Bon Accord is being closely monitored.

“We are well aware that within this area, in the western peninsula, is where the engine room of growth and development for Tobago is booming.

“Therefore, with growth and development comes an opportunity for crime and criminality. Hence the reason why we have been paying great attention to our crime-fighting strategies along this area.”

Hazel said Tobago’s detection rate for serious crimes currently stands at 34 per cent.


"Tobago ACP wants home for Canaan/Bon Accord Police Youth Club to help curb crime"

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