T&T criminologist warns: Brace for increase in crime

(Trinidad Guardian) Criminologist Ian Ramdhanie is urging the country to brace for an increase in crime once the 9 pm to 5 am curfew is relaxed. Ramdhanie is also warning citizens that the arrests of gang leaders during the state of emergency can lead to collateral damage when the country returns to normalcy. Ramdhanie, a programme manager and lecturer at the Institute of Criminology and Public Safety at the University of T&T, said the unexpected or unintentional losses were likely to take place when the state of emergency is lifted, which the T&T Police Service must be prepared to deal with. With the lockdown of so-called hot-spot areas came crime displacement, Ramdhanie said.

“They (criminals and gang leaders) will lie low for a few days but will move to another location. The police have to expect this and put mechanisms in place to deal with this displacement. When they arrest gang leaders, new ones will emerge. So the country can brace for an increase in crime.” Asked if this can lead to collateral damage, Ramdhanie replied, curtly, “Of course it will. As soon as things lighten up, we can expect an increase in drug trafficking and alongside drug trafficking will be homicides and shootings. It will go hand-in-hand. The police service should expect this. They have to put things in place to counteract this.”

Ramdhanie said relaxing the curfew hours would send a message that things had cooled down and “you might see a resurgence.” He said once the curfew hours were amended, the arrest rate would drop, and so, too, would the enthusiasm and morale of police officers and soldiers.

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