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Police doing the best they can
Acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams says his projection that the murder toll for 2013 would reach 399 was taken out of context. “I did not make a prediction,” said Williams. He said that in a forum with an NGO, he had explained to them the murder toll, which had reached 366 at the end of November, and made a mathematical projection to 399 at the end of the year. The murder toll as of yesterday, according to Williams, had reached 400.
Responding to yesterday’s triple road fatalities, in two separate accidents, Williams said, “The police are doing the best that they can and most accidents are due to the negligence of drivers.” Asked to comment on the toll, National Security Minister Gary Griffith said in a telephone interview he was looking at policies to effect the long-term reduction of crime. “If you look on the roads you will see that the visibility of officers has increased,” he said. “These are things we are doing so we can eliminate the fear that people feel.”
Griffith, who stressed that he was not in his position to come up with one-day crime plans, said he was focused on creating policies for long-term results. “I am trying to continue to come up with policies that will set the foundation for years to come. We are setting a foundation to have better management of the police service and better structures in how we treat with crime.” Griffith said the visibility of police on the street would continue to increase in the coming months.
Yesterday, despite police being visible at almost every major street corner in Port-of-Spain, shoppers and even drivers stuck in traffic were the victims of bandits who roamed the streets snatching cell phones, shopping bags and jewelry. On Observatory Street, a young man stood on a corner looking at cars before walking up to a female passenger in a taxi, grabbing her cellphone and disappearing around a building.
Williams, who responded to questions about thefts despite the increased security for Christmas, said citizens needed to be cautious. “We cannot have a police officer on every single street in every single community,” he pointed out. “People need to make sure they are cautious when they are going about their business.”
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