Aripo residents repeat call for lights, cameras, police action

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Heights of Aripo, Aripo. File photo/Roger Jacob

THE Aripo Heights Council has renewed its call for street lighting after another body was found there and the day after an Opposition MP highlighted the lack of cameras in the area.

On its Facebook Page the council said: “We appeal to the authorities to implement the necessities that we have been painstakingly requesting to improve overall safety and life of the Heights of Aripo. Such are greatly affecting both villagers and visitors. These include: cameras to discourage criminal activity, more street lights along the Aripo Main Road, increased police patrols/post and improved road works to aid sustainable public & private transportation. We will do what we can to assist the cause in the interim.”

On Wednesday Oropouche East MP Dr Roodal Moonilal asked why there were no cameras in the area, which he called a “dumping ground” for bodies.

While the residents have publicly denounced the used of that term to describe their village, the discoveries of bodies – three in the last 16 months – have dented their argument.

On Tuesday afternoon a walker found the body of a man was found byat about 4.34 pm. He was found approximately five feet down in a ditch near LP42. Up to Thursday he remained unidentified.

In January Keithisha Cudjoe’s decomposing body was found in Aripo. A 21-year-old gas station attendant from Harding Place, Cocorite, she was last seen on January 24, was reported missing on January 28 and her body identified three days later.

A year earlier, the body of court clerk Andrea Bharatt, 23, was found not far from Cudjoe’s, five days after she was abducted on her way home on January 29, 2021.

On Wednesday, Moonilal said National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds failed when he admitted half the CCTV cameras in the country are not working. He said Hinds has made no effort to rectify this or give a timeline for rectifying it.

In July last year Public Utilities Minister Marvin Gonzales and Arima MP Pennelope Beckles oversaw the installation of seven of a 27 LED streetlight project along the Aripo Road.