Akeim Frith –
ACP Tobago Collis Hazel says a turf war over drugs is the motive behind Tobago’s first double murder for 2023.
Less than a day after Tobago recorded its 11th murder, two more people were shot dead while liming outside a bar in Bon Accord. The island’s murder toll has now reached a record high of 13.
Dead are 61-year-old Fritz Alleyne of Mt Grace and 33-year-old Akeim Frith of Rockley Vale.
Hazel told Newsday that around 12.55 am, officers of the Emergency Response Patrol were in the Crown Point district when they received information of a shooting in Bon Accord.
He said officers went to the location when they saw a Nissan Tiida parked on the road with gunshots in the windscreen. The officers, he said, also saw two males lying motionless in the nearby Sherwin Williams paint compound. Both had been shot.
Hollis said DMO Ferguson viewed the bodies and ordered both removed to the Scarborough Hospital Mortuary for an autopsy.
When Newsday visited Rockley Vale, residents said they did not know Frith while Alleyne’s family declined to comment.
Questioned about a motive, ACP Hazel said: “They are all gang-related. They were known persons to the police as involved in gangs. Gangs fight for turf of money and drugs.”
As a result, he is urging citizens to be vigilant.
“Christmas is a heightened season for economic activities and, therefore, one in which those perpetrators of crime would do anything in order for the survival of their illegal trade. That comes with the whole issue of being brutal and murderous in order to achieve their desired goal.”
The police, he said, continue to be resolute in its approach to fighting crime and criminality on the island.
ACP Collis Hazel –
“We would be working relentlessly in order to ensure that we bring the perpetrators to justice of the criminal events that have taken place over the last two days.” He added: “I must say we have already captured the perpetrators of one of the murders, and we would continue to work tremendously hard to ensure that we bring justice to these evil doings.”
PNM Tobago Council political leader Ancil Dennis is urging all to be alert.
“It is very unfortunate that in what is supposed to be a season of giving, caring, loving and sharing, we are once again stricken with this scourge of violence and murders.
“Tobago is certainly not accustomed to this, and we have to take stock as an island, we have to be more vigilant and ensure that we do not allow this stain of crime to further harm the reputation of this island.”
He added: “I want to extend condolences to the families and all those who would have been impacted by the three deaths over the last couple of days.
“I trust that the TTPS and the Tobago House of Assembly and all Tobagonians by extension would collaborate and come forward with whatever information is required to ensure that these murders and all the others on the island are solved quickly.”
THA Minority Leader Kelvon Morris also sent out condolences to the families of the three Tobagonians brutally murdered within the space of 24 hours.
“I am extremely concerned as a Tobagonian that we have now recorded one of our highest murder tolls in recent history under the Farley Augustine administration.
“It is my humble view that one murder in Tobago is one murder too much and, therefore, this administration needs to wake up, smell the coffee and treat with this alarming increase in murder as a matter of priority.”
The reality, he said, is that “Tobago is bleeding, families are hurting, serious crimes are increasing, and it seems like our Chief Secretary is clueless when it comes to providing the leadership required to fight back against the criminal elements operating in Tobago.”
He asked where was the department of homeland security promised by the Chief Secretary to deal with serious crime and security in Tobago.
“Where is the crime plan he promised that would be rolled out six months ago, where there will be initiatives such as the return of the comfort patrol and joint police/army exercise to identify and root out the criminal elements from their places of comfort. “Where are the jobs to keep young men from idling and off the streets frustrated?”
Newsday contacted Augustine, who said, “I am actually preparing a statement on all the major criminal activities on the island over the last week and the shortcomings of the crime-fighting strategies on the island and what steps we should be taking.”
However, up to press time, no such information was received.