The reality is that throughout the country, not just in Bamboo, there has been a drastic increase in violent crimes, home invasions, rapes, robberies, and murders, targeting citizens in the comfort of their homes and communities.Kamla Persad-Bissessar
By Prior Beharry
OPPOSITION Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar is in favour of gated communities.
She made the statement during at a United National Congress (UNC) meeting held at the Aranguez Community Centre on Monday.
But she said gated communities must be done with residents adhering to the law.
Persad-Bissessar made reference to the the Bamboo #2 community which constructed a guard booth due to high crime, but the Tunapuna Piarco Regional Corporation told them that it must be broken down. The community said they will now apply for retroactive approval.
She said, “The reality is that throughout the country, not just in Bamboo, there has been a drastic increase in violent crimes, home invasions, rapes, robberies, and murders, targeting citizens in the comfort of their homes and communities.”
Persad-Bissessar said, “Unsurprisingly, residents are now resorting to trying to protect their communities. Many have established neighbourhood watches, and some have attempted to create gated areas.
“So, instead of battling each other, I urge all sides to unite and secure the community by getting the barriers installed legally.”
Persad-Bissessar explained the requirements necessary for getting gated community approval.
She said there must first be a petition signed by two-thirds of the residents and it should be sent with a letter to the regional corporation.
Persad-Bissessar said the drivers to crime in the St Joseph constituency were illegal drugs and gambling.
She said, “The gangs are fighting for control of turf to profit from these activities. To finance their purchases of drugs and guns, they resort to home invasions, robberies, and extortion.
“They transport the cocaine, marijuana, illegal immigrants, and guns up the Caroni River and offload behind Aranguez South Estate and El Socorro.
“They are terrorizing the farmers in that area because they want no one to see what’s going on.
“They use the banks of Caroni, San Juan, and St Joseph Rivers as transport routes to carry their illegal contraband into their stronghold communities.
“The criminals continue to destroy the flood pumps to wipe out farmers and get them out of their farmlands. They then bring in their criminal friends to squat on these lands to protect them while moving their drugs and guns.
“They kept destroying two pumps on the Caroni River because they didn’t want the watchman to remain on site.
“They feared he would report their movements up and down the river. That is what is going on in St Joseph. Everyone knows this but is afraid to speak out.”