CoP promises additional resources to fight crime in Tobago

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Commissioner of Police Erla Harewood-Christopher. – File photo by Lincoln Holder

POLICE Commissioner Erla Harewood-Christopher has promised additional resources to equip officers to effectively address the crime situation in Tobago.

She made the promise during a meeting with senior officers of the Tobago Division on May 24, the police said in a statement on May 31.

Tobago has already recorded ten murders and several robberies for the year.

As a means of tackling rising crime on the island, Harewood-Christopher recently deployed a contingent of officers from the Guard and Emergency Branch and the Inter-Agency Task Force to augment the strength of officers in the division to maintain law and order.

At the meeting, the police said, Harewood-Christopher expressed serious concerns about the increase in violent and other serious crimes in Tobago. She also discussed with the officers, other strategies to tackle the situation.

She discussed the need to adopt a “focused deterrence” approach by engaging residents and other external stakeholders with a view to reducing the number of violent crimes and enhancing the quality of life for those on the island.

Harewood-Christopher, the statement said, also told them that proactive policing requires a multi-pronged approach, utilising all available resources, if any gains are to be made.

The Commissioner of Police added that it also demanded focused leadership and commitment if the situation had to be effectively addressed.

Harewood-Christopher also said that strengthening the bonds between the public and the police was a critical component in building trust and confidence.

She further reminded the officers of the dynamic nature of crime and as such, saying they need to be continuously reviewing their strategies to be on top of their game.

Harewood-Christopher said the public would see an increased police presence on the streets and other public spaces in Tobago.

Additionally, officers would be given additional training to build capacity and to equip them to better discharge their responsibilities.

On March 13, Harewood-Christopher met with representatives of the Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce to discuss the island’s crime situation.

She did so as a follow-up to a request from the chamber, which had been calling for a meeting with her to discuss the crime situation on the island. Tobago has already recorded six murders for 2024.

On that occasion, the Tobago Business Chamber, headed by Martin George, questioned why the organisation was not included in the meeting.

The chamber said it was a legitimate business entity “incorporated as a non-profit organisation and registered with the Companies Registry as the only Tobago-based and registered business chamber.

“We are not an offshoot of a Trinidad-based Chamber of Commerce. We are Tobago-originated, incorporated, managed and controlled from right here in Tobago,” it added.