Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 1st 2014 Contents A5
Wednesday, January 1, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Despite an increase in the
homicide rate as compared to
2012, the police say this country
has recorded its lowest serious
crime figure in 29 years.
Speaking at the weekly press
briefing at the Police Administra-
tion Building, Sackville Street,
Port-of-Spain, yesterday, public
information officer ASP Joanne
Archie said the decrease in serious
crimes overall had been the lowest
the TTPS had ever seen.
Using statistics to bolster her
claim, Archie said police had seen
a 28 per cent reduction in serious
crimes. She said serious crimes
included: rapes and other sexual
offences, kidnappings, burglaries
and breakings, robberies, larcenies
and road traffic accidents.
With the murder toll at 405 for
the year compared to 379 last year,
Archie said the TTPS "had our
challenges as it relate to homicides
for the year 2013."
She added that for 2014 the
TTPS remained committed to
reducing the homicide rate and
increasing the detection rate.
The 405 murder toll is six
beyond the projected figure of act-
ing Commissioner of Police
Stephen Williams, who at a break-
fast meeting on December 10 cal-
culated the murder toll would end
at 399, with 12,835 serious crimes
reported at year s end. Williams
projected serious-crime figure was
35 less than the recorded figure of
12,800 for 2013.
"What is significant as it relates
to serious crimes, for the year 2013,
which recorded 12,800 serious
crimes, (is that) this figure repre-
sents the largest decrease in our
organisation s history. It is the low-
est record for the past 29 years,"
Archie said in 1984 the figure
was 11,725, while in 1985 it was
13,797. She added that in 2012 there
were 17,840 serious crimes and in
2013 there were 12,800, a reduction
of 5,000. This figure, she said,
bypassed that of 2011, which saw
In 2011, there was a State of
Emergency for four months which
had a positive impact on the num-
ber of crimes reported for that
year. The Police Service did not
give any statistics of its detection
rate in any category.
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PNM MP Dr Amery Browne says
the police need to do their job and
enforce the law to stop citizens from
illegally setting off fireworks and
other explosives during the season.
In a phone interview yesterday,
Browne said: "It is clear this trade
contributes to a lot of illegal activity.
These same distributors sponsor
events when at the end of the day
their trade encourages citizens to make
poor choices and waste their money
on questionable pleasure.
"There is big business in it (fire-
works) and contributors to political
funding contribute to a negative cycle
in this society," he said.
"It seems the hands of the police
are tied with wanton behaviour and
pollution of the environment. Citizens
complain for weeks and the recourse
is a press conference, when their job
is to enforce the law like littering and
other misdemeanours," he said.
He said parents should teach chil-
dren to invest in their future rather
than igniting it with a flash of flight,
a loud bang and smoke.
Browne said a number of people
went to medical institutions for emer-
gency care for severe and minor
injuries after using a range of explosive
"Pipe bombs, scratch bombs, bam-
boo bursting, flares and other
devices---there is a wide range, all of
which are dangerous explosives to
varying extents. It appears it is open
season and a free-for-all with regard
to the sale and use and they have
become more popular," he said.
Browne said bamboo bursting was
popular when he was a child but this
had evolved into fireworks.
"Now it happens early hours of
night and it is continuous. It is trau-
matic to elderly, pets and citizens who
want a peaceful existence," he said.
Browne said some of the people
who were injured were bystanders
and did not receive compensation for
"When injuries occur there is no
insurance to assist with rehabilitation
and plastic surgery, and the importers
and distributors are nowhere," he said.
"The police have turned a blind
eye to this and are posturing in their
press conferences. Citizens made
repeated reports about this. It even
happens in their yard and no one
: m y
At the police press conference yes-
terday, information officer ASP Joanne
Archie reminded the public about safe
practices during this season.
"With respect to the letting off of
fireworks, please be advised that
Under Sections 99 and 100 of the
Summary Offences Act 11:02, it is an
offence to throw, cast, set fire to, or
let off any fireworks into, or upon
any street not being in any town, or
into, in, or upon any place being with-
in 60 feet of the centre of any such
Archie said anyone who contra-
vened the act was liable to a fine of
$400. Under the Fireworks Permit
Regulation, the Commissioner of
Police or a superintendent could grant
written permission to use fireworks
in a town.
Applications must be made in writ-
ing 48 hours in advance and must
give details of the kind of fireworks
and where they are to be used. l
But acting Commissioner of Police
Stephen Williams said: "I don t issue
any licence. The Ministry of National
Security issues it."
When contacted, the ministry said
a licence to sell fireworks could be
issued by the district magistrate.
A source at the magistracy said cit-
izens could apply for a licence to sell
and the district magistrate would
grant the licence once there was no
objection from the police or Fire Serv-
"To use it is a matter for the police
and how they make that determina-
tion in the discharge of the explosive,"
The EMA messaged on a social Web
site that complaints could be made
by e-mail at: email@example.com.
"For continuous noise please send
us your noise complaints. Remember
the TTPS can also take action against
In an advertisement in the daily
papers, the TTSPCA encouraged cit-
izens to secure their pets, particularly
during the celebrations, when dogs
often go astray.
A 47-year-old Curepe man is
assisting police in their investi-
gations into the death of a 65-
year-old man who died early yes-
terday morning at the Eric
Williams Medical Sciences Com-
plex, Mt Hope.
Jagdeo Basdeo, of Joyeau Street,
Curepe, was at The Chosen Bar
in Curepe when he and the suspect
During the argument, it is
alleged, the suspect picked up a
stone and hit Basdeo, a coconut
vendor, once to the head.
Basdeo was taken to hospital
after collapsing and falling uncon-
scious. He died shortly after mid-
The suspect is currently at the
St Joseph Police Station.
Reanna Rona Mohammed, 14, who
was reported to be missing by her
father, was found yesterday by
The girl was taken to the Valencia
Police Station, where she was ques-
tioned by investigators.
She was last seen on December 14
at her Cunupia home. Her father woke
up at 4.30 am the following morning
and saw a crate under the window
inside her bedroom.
Missing teenager found
Police must enforce law
crimes in 29 years
Murders hit 405, but TTPS boasts of...
Man dies from blow to head
u u m
• Rapes and other sexual
offences: down by 42 per
• Kidnappings down by 41 per
• Burglaries and break-ins 33
• Robberies down by 34 per
• Larcenies down by 29 per
• Fatal road accidents (150)
down by 24 per cent and a
16 per cent decrease in
m u ' u 14 B ,
C , y. AP PHOTO
Am y B
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