Residents of Montrose, Chaguanas and environs are demanding that police do more to reduce the increasing crime in the area.
During a town meeting with senior officers of the Central Division on Wednesday night at the Signature Hall, Montrose, residents said all they get from police are excuses instead of action.
However, Allan Ferguson, a resident of the community and head of the Scrap Iron Dealers’ Association, said the police do not deserve all the blame. He called on people not to turn a blind eye to crime and criminal activity.
Adam Hosein, a businessman in the area, meanwhile said there are no working phones at the Longdenville Police Post.
He claimed that last week Thursday when Darryl Dindial was murdered outside this business place, the E 999 service was not working.
Recalling the incident, Hosein said after Dindial was shot he called his father Tony Hosein and E999.
“Only to hear you have reached emergency 999, please hold. For 20 minutes,” he said.
Hosein also claimed there was no support from the police at that time and the residents had to carry Dindial to the nearby Chaguanas Health Centre, where he died.
Senior Superintendent Kurt Simon said the non-working phone at the Longdenville Police Post was out of the remit of the T&T Police Service.
Simon said, “The Longdenville phone situation is a situation existing for the longest while. We are trying to have that rectified with the relevant authority who is not the TTPS. The TTPS do not install phones, we do not put up phone wires.”
Simon called on members of the community to look inwards.
Attendees at the TTPS town meeting on Wednesday.
He said, “The public do not want to hear the police saying to them that you have a responsibility too. When a police officer is bribed, usually it is not another police officer bribing him. When a police officer is in a rum shop drinking free rum, usually it is not a police officer owning the rum shop and giving him free rum so that you could have him there in your presence for some sort of free security.
“When a police officer comes to a business to buy, but the businessman refuses to accept his money and don’t tell me no, because it happened to me and I said, look take your money I’m paying and that is why I can’t say I bought anything in Central because I don’t want anybody giving me anything free.”
He added, “But there is civil responsibility and you will say what does that have to do with crime. Perhaps nothing, but perhaps a whole lot because if we, in our own selves, are prepared to be so small-minded to try to captivate us, then what else are we doing. When we are trying to captivate the police, are we trying to hide something we are doing. Yes, you can make noise, we can respond too, we are responding, I have heard you all and you have blamed us, you have blamed us for the robberies, you have blamed us for the murders, you have blamed us for our telephone line, you have blamed us for the amount of persons who are police officers.”
Chaguanas Chamber of Industry and Commerce (CCIC) executive member Sunil Moonasar later asked that Simon continue and tell the public what are the solutions.
Simon said the TTPS has launched its 2022/2024 strategic action plan.
He said the plan has five main pillars that involve technology, human wellness, professional development of the police and community development.
He said the “action items” include outreach in the form of town meetings, youth clubs and walkabouts, adding increased training would give the police the added edge in crime-solving.
Simon said the Central Division is going through changes regarding its investigative processes. He said the division has now established a capable gang unit that gathers intelligence in the division and an active community policing unit that targets at-risk groups, especially persons living in troubled households. Police will also be liaising with regional bodies to reduce hiding spots for criminals.
Simon said, “Police are stepping out of our traditional role and entering into roles of social work, trying to encourage the different agencies that can partner with us.”