On the walls of business places in Arima will soon have 'Wanted' posters showing the images and descriptions of people suspected of robberies, murders, shootings, fraud, etc.
This will form part of a watch group initiative among the business community.
According to the Arima Business Association (ABA) president Reval Chattergoon, the intention is "to put people on constant alert so they can quickly identify these people who are wanted and they would be able to call the police immediately and say 'I see someone walk in here fitting a description.'
"This, we believe, will help make a dent in crime...it's all about security and safety."
Chattergoon lamented that the Northern Division has the highest record in crime and criminal activities including murders and shootings. He said, however, the work of police officers from the 12 stations in the division was still being hampered due to limited vehicles.
To date, the ABA has assisted with the repair of nine vehicles which are back on the road.
In February 2018, the T&T Guardian had reported that at the Arima Police Station, specifically, there were only two working police vehicles to service the entire area, one of which is used for court purposes, including transferring holding-cell prisoners from the station to the Arima Magistrates’ Court.
Chattergoon, also the president of the Arima Police Station Council (APSC), a stakeholder group, said then that he was very disheartened when he learnt this and decided to act on behalf of officers and the citizens in the district.
“For approximately three months as president, I have observed the poor working conditions of the officers. I learnt how impoverished the Arima Police Station is in terms of the lack of functioning vehicles and lack of resources to repair the numerous others throughout the division,” he said then.
Sadly, the comment Chattergoon made then still stands today as he said that the police officers still work under deplorable conditions.
Chattergoon is till calling for accountability, as he said there is "very little to show for the approximately $41 billion allocated over the last six years to National Security."
Recently, Chattergoon said he held discussions with the Minister of National Security Stuart Young where he raised several issues and concerns amongst the burgesses. He is hopeful that the minister will seek to address it soon.
He has also held several discussions with the Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith including the issuing of firearm users licence for legitimate applicants, some more than six years old.
Another issue Chattergoon highlighted was the closure of the Arima District Office. The office closed down in early 2018 causing scores of citizens who need to conduct business to either go as far as the Tunapuna or Sangre Grande for service.
In an immediate response to the closure last year, Arima Mayor Lisa Morris-Julien said the time has reached for Arima to get its own administrative complex to avoid occurrences such as these. It is a space, she said, where all government agencies can be under one roof.