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Carenage residents impose ‘crime curfews’

Published: 
Wednesday, July 11, 2018
MSJ leader David Abdulah listens attentively to Seaview Gardens, Carenage resident Christopher Calder during a visit to the area yesterday. PICTURE ABRAHAM DIAZ

With self-imposed curfews and increasing fears of reprisal murders and shootings in the aftermath of Sunday’s triple murder at the Boardwalk in Chaguaramas, Carenage residents are now calling on the T&T Police Service’s elite forces to hunt down the killers, who are believed to be from the area.

Outspoken Carenage resident and activist Christopher Calder slammed the police for recently using two of its special units to locate a stolen cellphone belonging to Finance Minister Colm Imbert’s son and not using the said units for putting a “clamp on the criminals.”

“Watch how quick the special police find that phone belonging to Colm Imbert’s son but the killers roaming free all over the place,” Calder shouted in disgust over the spiralling crime rate as he gesticulated with his cellphone in hand for emphasis.

Calder was sharing his views to Movement for Social Justice leader David Abdulah, who held a walkabout at Upper Sea View Road, Carenage, yesterday, where he also expressed his condolences to the families of two of the victims.

Another resident who wished not to be named identified two people he believes are behind the murders and shootings in the area and called “for their heads.” He also said since the fatal shooting residents are now locking their doors and going inside their homes by 6.30 pm.

“Them two people need to be killed and then all this nonsense will stop. Carenage is a nice area you know but the shootings start back and that spoiling things around here now. But, trust me, those two needed to be killed for this to stop,” the resident said.

Asked where these two people operate from, he answered: “They from here but they in hiding and they operate via phone. Everybody knows who they are, even the police, but the police not doing anything about it.”

Another resident, who also wished not to be identified, said the Carenage annual football league was expected to start in August but feared there would be no participation because of the shootings.

“Sports is one thing that does bring everybody here as one but the way how things looking now I doubt the football league will kick off because who knows, gunmen could come and open fire on the men who playing or coming out to look at the games. That’s the reality of this situation.”

Abdulah said during the walkabout he was told by the residents that the youths turn to crime because of the problems of unemployment and issues the community faces, including a basic efficient water supply.

He also said one of the murder victims, Fabien Williams, had joined an MSJ’s walkabout earlier this year.

“He saw us walking and he joined us and highlighted the issues faced. He was very vocal and pleaded for that help and upliftment of his community,” Abdulah said.

“Residents are very hurt and angry, not only about the killings but the neglect of the community by the MP (referring to Diego Martin West MP and Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley). They do not feel like they are part of the society, as they see the wealthy getting all the benefits.”

PM Rowley meanwhile said yesterday evening that the killers could face charges under the new Anti-Gang law.

Rowley, who was speaking on I95.5 FM’s Afternoon Drive, said the information he had was that it was a gang-related incident, adding criminals cannot make danger zones out of recreational spaces. He called on citizens to play their role in the fight against crime.

“We really are inflicted by serious gang activities. There was a time when violence and killings were confined to small areas in the country, now it’s widespread because of the availability of the firearms and there seems to be a willingness in the population for people to harbour murderers, cold-blooded killers, even in their own families,” the PM said.

“It is time for communities to speak out against violence…If you could identify someone who spray a crowd with an automatic weapon it would qualify as terrorism…I’m saying from the source and reasons of their outburst, it appears as though, from the information that I have at this time, that there are some elements of terrorism.”

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