ACP: Trinidad gangs infiltrating Tobago

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

ACP Collis Hazel – ROGER JACOB

With six murders on the island to date, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Tobago Collis Hazel is working to disrupt gangs working across the island.

Hazel was speaking on the Spot-On programme on Tobago Channel Five on Tuesday.

For the year to date, there have been six murders on the island.

Hazel said: “That is not a place in which we would sit comfortably by.”

He said some of these issues creeping into “our beautiful paradise” are gang-related.

“Gangs that are popularly known from the Trinidad space are recruiting their membership on the island here in Tobago and fighting for turf, sad to say, in Tobago.”

He said the turf for guns and drugs are the main issues.

“We have seen that infiltration coming through, in very small numbers, and therefore our focus now is basically on the disruption of gangs on the island before it infiltrates and spreads and we can’t contain it.

“So there is a disruptive element that we are going after in order to treat with persons, based on our intelligence, who are involved in these gangs.”

He said the covid19 pandemic had taught people to work remotely, and shots were being called from inside the prisons.

“Therefore, what we are talking to is the fact that Tobagonians now need to band (together) more than ever and understand that the police is not your enemy, the police is a friend indeed to help to protect you.”

He appealed to all to partner with him.

“Uneasy is the head that wears the crown, I am wearing the crown. I looked at all the persons who celebrated my success on coming to Tobago. I am Tobagonian, I am respected, I am trustworthy – provide me with the information to help us solve crime.”

He promised confidentiality and repeated his call for Tobagonians to help.

“You’re Tobago-led, you have Tobago leadership, I’m your Tobago boy. Provide me with that information on crime and criminality in your community, and I trust you that you would get results and you would not be anyone that is targeted (over) information leaking to anyone.”

He said the island needs to be cleaned up.

Tobago murders, 2023

February 9: Plymouth resident Nigel Sandy was shot near his home, and died at the hospital.

April 9: Alex “Papa” Cooper, 22, originally from Moruga, was gunned down at Logwood Park, Scarborough.

April 8: Lynch Bovell, 49, of Sesame Street, Bethel, was shot; died at the hospital on April 12.

April 27: Donneil Thomas, 40, from Signal Hill, was shot at his home.

May 4: Edward Eastman, 68, found murdered in Golden Lane.

May 9: Hakeem Thomas of Mt Pleasant, was shot; died at the hospital.