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T&T CRIME ANXIETY upon SOE closure

sgtdjones 2021-11-16 17:41:08 

T&T CRIME ANXIETY upon SOE closure

BUSINESS groups are calling for joint army and police patrols as they are fearful of a crime surge when the state of emergency comes to an end tomorrow, especially with the Christmas season around the corner.Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley announced at the Covid-19 news conference last Saturday that Parliament will meet tomorrow to bring an end to the SoE, as it had achieved its objective. The SoE was scheduled to end on November 29.Speaking to the Express yesterday, Ricardo Mohammed, vice-chairman of the Confederation of Regional Business Chambers and president of the Eastern Business Merchants Association (EBMA), expressed concerns relating to the anticipated increase in crime coinciding with the lifting of the SoE.“There will be an increase in crime, there is no doubt about that. Hence, I advise that all business chambers and associations within the confederation meet with the senior members of the Police Service who operate within their districts with the aim of mapping out a joint strategy to mitigate any possible spike in crimes and present a safe shopping experience for potential customers,” said Mohammed.

Penal Debe Chamber of Commerce president Mootilal Ramsingh, who noted that crime is always an issue due to heighten economic activities like Christmas shopping, told the Express yesterday:“Since the National Security Minister announced that there is a manpower problem in the TTPS, then the Government should consider joint army/police patrols to be instituted in almost every district within Trinidad and Tobago and present a safe shopping atmosphere for consumers.”Siparia Chamber president Unan Pustam is also calling for immediate joint patrols to arrest crime. He said it is critical for meetings to take place between the TTPS and the respective business chambers aimed at working out an action plan to collaborate to deal with the anticipated crime wave.

Chaguanas Chamber of Industry and Commerce (CCIC)president Richie Sookhai said while the ending of the SoE and the lifting of the curfew hours (currently 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.) should augur well for restaurants, bars, and stores in the retail sector as they try to recoup losses through extended opening hours, more focus should be placed on the borough security-wise, especially as Christmas is known for an increase in petty crime.

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