Sunday, January 21, 2018

‘Time for elite force’

A FATHER and son who were murdered last week in St Helena Village, Piarco were laid to rest yesterday following a funeral service.

The victims, Devanand Gookool, 51, and his son Jeremy, 29, were at their home in St Helena around 6 p.m. last Thursday when an armed assailant walked into the building.

Neighbours heard several gunshots and when they investigated they found both father and son shot.

A desperate attempt was made to locate the killer who, police said, calmly walked back to his car and sped off, but up to last night there were no arrests.

Rev Dave Alleyne, who conducted the homily, spoke to the Express afterwards as most of the media were prevented from entering the premises where the funeral was held and those who were allowed were given very limited access.

Alleyne said that he likened 2014 Trinidad and Tobago to 1930s Chicago, which then faced a crime spree during the alcohol prohibition era in the United States.

He said that an elite force such as that featured in The Untouchables —a popular television show highlighting the early days of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)—needed to be created in order to “break the back” of the criminal element

Alleyne added that criminals now felt brazen enough to enter someone’s premises in almost broad daylight and carry out criminal acts when, years before, “they would have had to wait until the dark hours to do so and this is a disrespect to the police and National Security Ministry”.

“They are saying that the police’s detection rate is so low, ‘we can do what we want’.”

Alleyne said he told the congregation “the police needed to bring society back to a state where people can enjoy the freedoms of life”.

He said he also told the congregation that “the police are unable to do it by themselves and that families as well as the judicial system needed to do their part”.

“You cannot expect the police to do everything as systems need to be put in place so that those youth who are potentially at risk can be dealt with before they embark on a life of crime and those who are already engaged need to be caught,” he said. Alleyne also said that religious teaching needed to be done.

“There was a time you can get away from man, but you cannot get away from God and we need these teachings because these young people are committing crimes on their own selves, so yes, sometime you get away from man, but not God, so those lessons need to come back and once we start reinforcing those teachings people would have a deeper sense of awareness with regards to their actions.”