Seventh Day Adventist pastor Clive Dottin, who does outreach work in communities such as Laventille and Morvant, said yesterday it was known those areas were recruiting grounds for gang leaders."The country must face the fact that adult gang leaders are recruiting teenagers and putting them on the battlefront," Dottin told the T&T Guardian in a telephone interview."They are doing a phenomenal job recruiting teens. It should be of great concern to all of us in society," he added.
Dottin said the issue spoke to a collapse of parenting and family in society, adding unless these issues are fixed the fight against crime will not be won.Meanwhile, Inspector Roger Alexander, head of the North Eastern Division task Force (NEDTF) and vice-president of the Police Social and Welfare Association, said he was disturbed by media reports his men had murdered the cousins.
Speaking on Beyond the Tape programme, he said when the media visited the area on Monday they spoke to the relatives of the cousins but failed to speak with the victims he claimed the cousins had earlier terrorised. Asked about the accusations the officers were excessive, Alexander said:"How can a team be acting in an excessive way when all they doing is protecting their lives, the lives of the public and their colleagues.
"The public must understand if we worked in places like Westmoorings we would never have any confrontation."We work in a place known to be a hotspot, where people are aggressive towards the police and are encouraged to be aggressive towards the police, yet you want us to be like, 'good morning do you have a gun in the bush? Would you stop shooting at us please.'"
Alexander said psycho-social messages being relayed to the police was that they should hesitate in those situations but he said that could cost them their lives.In a telephone interview with the T&T Guardian yesterday, acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams said he would not be commenting on the issue of police killings, since he has a meeting today with head of the Police Complains Authority (PCA) Gillian Lucky.