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January marked a bloody start to 2012 in Trinidad and Tobago, with the nation recording some 37 murders in 31 days. While there were nine less murders last month, compared to January 2011, Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) officials admit it is still a worrying statistic. TTPS Public Information Officer Sgt Wayne Mystar assured that police officers were committed to the fight against crime. “We are not going to give up the fight,” he said in a telephone interview with the T&T Guardian on Tuesday. “We will continue to use all of the available resources we have in order to bring the perpetrators of these crimes (murders) to justice and will continue to work together with the public to reduce crime and to improve the security and safety in Trinidad and Tobago.”
While the statistics of 37 murders in 31 days are alarming, Police figures show that the January 2012 murders are lower than those recorded last January when there were 46 murders. Mystar said the TTPS was still troubled by the recent murders: “Every murder is of great concern to us.” He noted that in most of the cases, the victims knew “the persons who would have committed these acts, so it is not to say it is random killings that are taking place.” He said citizens should not take it for granted that “they will not be victims” and should be “proactive and institute personal measures that will assist them in protecting themselves. “The police service will do their part and we are asking the public to do their part too,” he said.
The year started with two murders. Lloyd Baptiste, 40, of Marcano Quarry, Beverly Hills, Laventille, and Moruga resident Marcus Thompson, 27, were gunned down in separate incidents. For January, the Port-of-Spain Division recorded the highest number of murders with ten killings. The combined statistics for Central and Southern divisions were 14 murders. Mystar urged citizens to take steps to ensure their personal safety, such as locking all doors and windows. “You may not able to control the motives or ability of a criminal,” he said. “However, you can control—we all can control—the opportunities we give them. “We all have a responsibility to secure our homes and do some personal things that will assist us in personal protection. “Reduce the opportunities to be a soft target.” Mystar said citizens must ensure they became hard targets for criminals.
Breakdown of murders for January
Port-of-Spain Division — 10
Western Division — 5
North-Eastern Division — 1
Northern Division — 2
Eastern Division — 1
Central Division — 7
Southern Division —7
South-Western Division — 1
Tobago Division — 0
At Sea — 3
1. Lloyd Baptiste, 40, Marcano Quarry Beverly Hills, Laventille.
2. Marcus Thompson, 27, Moruga.
3. Abessia Defour, 26, La Baja Road, Maracas/St Joseph.
4. Dillon Massey, 20, Mon Repos, San Fernando.
5. Anand Ramkarran, 30, Rochard Douglas Road, Barrackpore.
6. Akile Cheston Antonio Simon, 20, Western Main Road, Cocorite.
7. Adrian Hussein, 27, Sinanan Street, Penal.
8. Dale Wellington, 24, Point Pleasant Road Arima.
9. Renwick Bailey, 30, no fixed place of abode.
10. Allan Harry, 28, Herrera Street, Kelly Village, Caroni.
11. Ken Mathias, 40, Kelly Village, Caroni.
12. Wayne Welchers, 58, Callender Street, East Dry River, Port-of-Spain.
13. Rakesh “Channas” Ramdhawar, 32, Arbuckle Street, Frederick Settlement, Caroni.
14. Ravi Ramsaran, 26, Cacandee Road, Felicity.
15. Kassinath Ramsaran, 31, Cacandee Road, Felicity.
16. Pream Squires, 45, Longdenville.
17. Yu Quan Ze, 22, Longdenville, Chaguanas.
18. Robert Neptune, 38, Sarganga Trace, Diego Martin.
19. Shaquille Pierre, 18, Windy Hill, Arouca.
20. Devon Ballantyne, 32, Savannah Terrace, Diego Martin.
21. Maurice John Roberts, 27, Rhyner Street, Laventille.
22. Lincoln Baker, 39, Andre Trace, Diego Martin.
23. Lalchan Dharusingh, 50, Santa Cruz.
24. Godfrey Lamont, 53, St James.
25. Ian Wells, 41, Gasparillo.
26. Dandell Douga, 27, Oxford Street, Port-of-Spain.
27. Andy “Cuban” Lopez, 33, Guapo Road, Point Fortin.
28. Robert Lewis, 64, Julien Trace, Cascade. (Shot on December 16, 2011, at Cascade, died January 19, 2012.)
29. David Hemley, 50, San Fabian Road, Gasparillo.
30. Josiah Govenor, 6, Laventille.
31. Collin Findley, 39, Crown Trace, Enterprise, Chaguanas.
32. Tyron Thomas, 23, Nelson Street, Port-of-Spain.
33. Isaiah Phillip, 20, Old St Joseph Road, Laventille.
34. Clinton Barsett, 25, Allister Street, Laventille.
35. Marvin Hypolite, 37, Simeon Road, Diego Martin.
36. Aldon Pegus, 35, Rosehill Street Claxton Bay.
37. Dwayne Pilgrim, 23, Maraval.