(Trinidad Express) NATIONAL Security Minister Emmanuel George yesterday called an emergency meeting with the heads of the country’s protective services in the wake of a dozen murders being committed in less than 72 hours.
The meeting was chaired by George and included Police Commissioner Stephen Williams, Chief of Defence Staff Major General Kenrick Maharaj, Commanding Officer of the Trinidad and Tobago Regiment Colonel Rodney Smart and Deputy Police Commissioner Mervyn Richardson.
The meeting, which lasted two hours, began at 9 a.m. and was held at the Ministry of National Security, Abercromby Street in Port of Spain.Speaking to the Express in a telephone interview yesterday George said the meeting was called to “deal with the murders”.Of the 12 murders, five are being treated as gang-related, George said.
The five classified as gang-related are the double murder in Santa Cruz which claimed the lives of Gregory “Jamdown” Charles and Sherwin “Dan” Cole and the triple murder in Laventille which claimed the lives of Jamal Michael Justin Fox, Jamal Fox and Shaquille Bishop.George said, according to statistics, serious crimes still remain down in this country, including murders as compared to last year.
The murder toll, according to an Express tally, is 225 as compared to 244 last year and 238 in 2011.George said he understands these figures would mean little or nothing to the family of murder victims and expressed condolences to the families of all those killed.He said the protective services have to do “extra” to get a better grip on crime but said the war will be won.The Police Service may be embarking on additional crime prevention exercises, George hinted yesterday.Richardson described yesterday’s discussions as “very fruitful”.He described the 12 murders in less than 72 hours as a “flare-up”.“Everybody is committed to the cause and we have some intelligence that we are working on and we feel secure and sure that we will arrest this situation and those responsible in a very short time,” Richardson said.“Every so often we have these flare-ups where we have these unnecessary things done by people who fall outside the normal pale of the society and the laws and the norms,” he said.
Richardson said the Police Service will control the problem.“We are doing certain things that I cannot elaborate on but we are certain that we will be successful if not right now soon, all that we are doing will bear fruit and those responsible will pay the ultimate price according to the law,” he said.“We are very confident in what we are doing and we strategised on those this morning,” Richardson said.“This is a war and we will win. We are sure about this. It is just a matter of time,” he said.Both George and Richardson complimented the police officers for the work they are doing.George called on citizens, including the media, to get behind the officers and show them support instead of making “an already difficult job more difficult”.
12 murders in 72 hours
TWELVE murders have been committed between the night of the Emancipation holiday and yesterday.Among them were a double murder in Santa Cruz and a triple murder in Laventille.The following is a list of the dozen dead:
u Andrew Gibson, 50, was fatally stabbed by a close female relative following a bout of drinking in Rio Claro.
u Double murder: Gregory “Jamdown” Charles, 36, and Sherwin “Dan” Cole, 37, were fatally shot in Santa Cruz.
u Sean Duncan, 28, was fatally shot while playing cards in his yard at Mulchan Street, Guaico, Sangre Grande, with friends when two men, one dressed like a police officer and the other in camouflage clothing, opened fire on the group.
u Ganesh Ramroop, 44, was found by a relative in a car parked along the Chase Village flyover with a bullet wound to the stomach. He died while being taken to the Chaguanas Health Facility.
u Triple murder: Jamal Michael Justin Fox, 28, aka “Blacka”, his nephew Jamal Fox, 21, and Shaquille Bishop, 21, were fatally shot inside a house at Desperlie Crescent in Laventille.
u The charred remains of two burnt bodies were discovered near the Forres Park Landfill in Claxton Bay. They were burnt beyond recognition.
u Venice Chattergoon, 27, was stabbed a total of 28 times at his Concerned Citizens Street, California.
u Shakeel Bethel, 19, was gunned down outside a bar in San Fernando.