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Diamond Vale crime surge worry residents
Residents of Diamond Vale, in Diego Martin, complained of slow police response and an increase in the number of robberies in their district during a town meeting on Monday.
Several residents complained about the rise in criminal activity in a community and called for frequent police patrols and quicker response from police.
“Diamond Vale is under attack,” said one female resident, who asked not to be identified.
The town meeting, hosted by the Police Service, got off to a late start at the Diego Martin Central Community Centre but residents made sure to stay on to voice their complaints.
Residents said crime was affecting the young, old and the physically challenged in their community.
ACP Radcliffe Boxhill, Snr Supt Vernon Roberts, Supt Peter Dominique, Supt Ramnarine Samaroo and Assistant Supt Ulric Prescott who were on the head table attempted to assist the residents and give answers and solutions.
Dominque told the residents that their concerns would “not be swept under the carpet and taken care of effectively in a timely manner.”
Councillor for Diamond Vale Keron Seebaran, who spoke during the open forum, said residents were targeted because the community was made up of many elderly people.
Seebaran, an electrical engineer at T&T Electricity Commission, also said Coral Gardens Park was being used for illegal recreational activity.
A homeowner said bandits had robbed residents in their area six times. She said her cellphone was stolen in the robbery and when she got information to assist the police to track the thieves the tip was not pursued.
“I was held up at gunpoint and a report was made almost immediately. When the officers came, they asked me my age, height, job, irrelevant information and I thought it was unprofessional,” she said.
The resident claimed she received information to assist police on who the bandits called on her cell phone but the information was not used.
“What really is the priority? I would like to think the priority is given to those in distress. I think Diamond Vale is under attack for quite awhile,” she said.
She said there were four attacks and two cars had been stolen at Opal Gardens. On every street, she said, a resident claimed to have been robbed.
Resident Franklin Joseph complained that he had made a report about a stolen vehicle and the police took one day to respond.
He said there was a vehicle stealing ring operating in Blue Basin but it seemed that the police were not concerned.
Joseph said he witnessed police officers going to the house of a known “drug dealer and bringing him punch.”
“What you expect me to do? Clear lines need to be drawn so confidence can be restored,” he said.
Marian Carmona, another resident, said there was an armed intruder with a knife at one primary school recently. She said reports were made to the police but they responded two hours late.
Carmona said she believed the school was open to attacks and seeking more police patrols in the community.
In response, Boxhill said more attention would be paid to such reports and action would be taken against offenders.
“I am concerned about any report of kidnapping...and one attempt is too much. Adults armed with weapons is a concern and I expect a prompt response to a situation if a report is made,” he said.
Prescott also addressed the concern of a resident who said he heard obscene language coming from the police station.
“I’ve been there many times and the obscene language is from the prisoners,” he said.
He said the problems at Opal Gardens would be also given immediate attention.