Aranguez Residents Vent on Crime

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By Sue-Ann Wayow

AFTER several incidents of crime, including murder, in Aranguez, residents of the community held an emergency crime meeting.

Minister of National Security Fitzgerald Hinds was present at the meeting held at the Aranguez Community Centre on Sunday.

He told residents that neither Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley nor he was the police but he was willing to listen to them and hear their concerns.

The residents, fearful for their lives, packed into the building and vented their frustration at the skyrocketing level of crime while offering some suggestions which they think would be more fruitful than what was presently being done.

Earlier this month, one Aranguez family was ambushed in their home with a 14-year-old boy being one of the several suspects charged and last week pharmacy owner Cheval Ramjattan was killed outside his Pills and Potions Pharmacy.

Present at the meeting was former head of the North Eastern Division (NED) ACP Winston Maharaj who was praised for his previous efforts in keeping criminals at bay.

The suggestion was made to have the current head of the NED replaced which residents applauded to.

One resident asked Hinds, “Minister, give us a superintendent that can work with us.”

Amit Sooknanan said when Maharaj was head of the NED, crime was under control in Aranguez.

But about the current head he said, “If he has no interest in serving us, we have no interest in serving him.”

Sooknanan said, “He has failed and dropped the ball on securing the residents of Aranguez and environs. This is a very uncomfortable situation because we have never had to speak of that high office in total disregard like today.”

Another resident said while he was pleased that Maharaj received a promotion in the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS), some-one was needed to replace the “ goodly gentleman” to take a more proactive approach in dealing with crime.

While another resident expressed that there were police patrols and officers responded on concerns raised on a WhatsApp chat group, patrols had slowed down in Aranguez.

Member of the Hunters Search and Rescue team  who lives in Aranguez recommended that police use similar strategies as adopted by his team in finding missing persons.

Hinds told the residents, “I am prepared to listen to what you have to say and together we will take on board the issue you raised.”

He said, “We know that you are severely traumatised by the daily effects of crime and we the Government are very senstive to it and we will take right action. We might not oblierate it, but we might reduce it.”

At the meeting held last week with Commissioner of Police Erla Harewood- Christopher Hinds said it was indicated to him and the Dr Rowley that the TTPS would like access to more vehicles adding that as long as the law enforcement agencies exist, they would need resources which Government would attempt to provide.

Head of the Port-of-Spain Division Senior Superintendent Roger Alexander and Senior Superintendent (Homicide Bureau) Rishi Singh  also attended the Aranguez meeting that was entitled “Taking back our Community.”


One thought on “Aranguez Residents Vent on Crime

  1. Why the haste with the minister visiting the Aranguez district. Previously he has ignore all calls for help. Is this district in the St Joseph constituency. Is this visit POLITICAL in nature? Is he and the PNM feeling the political heat in the east-west corridor from Anil, Nakhid, Jerlean et al.

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