Bloody Corridor

By Joel Julien

ALMOST three out of every four murders committed in this country for the year occurred along the East-West Corridor in Trinidad, acting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams said yesterday.
Williams said if crime can be controlled along the East-West Corridor, crime in this country as a whole would become “insignificant” in the future. He made the statements during the weekly police briefing held at the Police Administration Building in Port of Spain.
Statistics posted on the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service’s website stated that up to the end of October, 322 murders had been recorded for the year.
According to an Express tally, 380 murders have been committed in the country as at December 18, 2013.
“The East-West Corridor can be identified as the location, the broad location, where the majority of violent crimes in Trinidad and Tobago have occurred,” Williams said .
“We have seen 73 per cent of the murders in 2013 occurring in the East-West Corridor running from Carenage to Arima,” he added.
According to the statistics provided by Williams , it means that just over 100 of the 380 murders for the year so far took place in parts of the country other than the East-West Corridor.
Williams said crime along the corridor needed to be controlled in order for this country be a “paradise”.
“It is critical that we look at the issue beyond policing and clearly identify there is a need for far broader consideration to be given to the improvement of the quality of life of the citizens in the depressed communities within the East-West Corridor,” Williams said.
“If that broader issue is not effectively addressed we will continue to face a challenge around violent crimes in Trinidad and Tobago,” he said.
“Twenty seven per cent of murders would have occurred within the rest of Trinidad and Tobago. If we can effectively control violent crime along the East-West Corridor violent crime will be insignificant in Trinidad and Tobago in the future,” he said.
Firearms remained the weapon of choice for killers this year, Williams said.
“In 2013 out of the murders that have been committed firearm has been the weapon of choice in excess of 70 per cent of all murders,” Williams said.
He said a greater impact is needed against illegal firearms.“If we can have a major impact on the firearms in the hands of the criminals we can have a major impact on the number of violent incidents including murders in the country,” Williams said. “In 2013 we have recovered in excess of 360 firearms but clearly that is not enough so we have to set ourselves even more challenging targets in 2014,” he said. Williams said the police working alongside the Trinidad and Tobago Defence to tackle crime will be continuing.
“I can assure you that the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service supported by the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force will continue to pursue every useful policing strategy to make Trinidad and Tobago a safer place,” Williams said.
Policing is not enough though, he added.
“One must clearly recognise though that the issue is not solely built around policing. Crime is a social matter and there must be a broader consideration of the social issues confronting our society,” he said.
Williams said this country’s borders need to be better protected to prevent illegal guns from coming in.
“Our borders continue to be a challenge for the police service because firearms enter this country through porous borders,” Williams said.
“Until such time as the borders are fully secured we will continue to be confronted with the presence of guns in this country, coming into this country through illegal means,” he said.
“We continue to cooperate with the other agencies, the Customs, the Defence Force, and the Port Authority with a clear intention to make a difference and manage the inflow of firearms but at the end of the day there is much more that needs to be done for us to be at the point where Trinidad and Tobago can be identified as the paradise island that we speak about,” Williams said.
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