OF the 40 murders in the first three weeks of the new year, 75 per cent were committed using guns.
And other than the cases in which citizens died in murder/suicides, the police have been able to investigate and charge someone in only two cases.
Of the homicides, one occurred in Tobago. That murder was detected by police and a suspect taken to court.
In Trinidad, very few suspects have been held, with one charged with murder.
On January 7, after the country recorded its 13th homicide, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar called a meeting of the National Security Council (NSC).
Persad-Bissessar, who is the chairman of the NSC, said she will no longer tolerate the failure to fight crime and demanded results of its members.
In her address to the nation following the NSC meeting, Persad-Bissessar said: “I have also made clear to each member of the NSC that they will be held personally accountable for any further failure to keep the peace and protect our citizens. With respect to the protective and security services, they must perform.
“No shades of grey. No excuses and no apologies. The Government and people of Trinidad and Tobago are demanding results now and therefore they must see results now.” The Prime Minister also announced that with immediate effect all leave for police officers had been put on indefinite hold.
But the killings have continued. Last Tuesday night, the country’s first child victim, 15-year-old Aleah Cain, was shot and killed in Belmont.
Senior Superintendent of the Homicide Division (South) Cyril Harry said a homicide investigation required more than other types of criminal investigations. “One must regard that a homicide investigation is not like a stone throwing or obscene language. A homicide investigation is one where an investigation has to be conducted and that is what we are doing at present. When the evidence is forthcoming we will do the needful. For now we are continuing investigations and we are waiting to gather all of the necessary evidence,” said Harry last week. Asked to comment on the number of murders without persons being detained or charged by police, Harry said: “Homicides can be solved at any time.
“You might be surprised that those in January might be solved subsequently because of technical evidence, scientific evidence, evidence from witnesses, all these sort of things. Until such time we have to work with what we have.”
Harry said there were many challenges being faced by law enforcement officers.