HDC strengthens security after cutlass attack

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

File photo: HDC building South Quay

The Housing Development Corporation will be implementing enhanced security at its South Quay office following an incident on Wednesday where two customers assaulted each other.

A statement from the HDC said a customer began arguing with another customer who was conducting business at its premises. The first customer left the building and returned with a cutlass, breaking through the security door to re-enter the premises.

The two customers continued to fight, and an onlooking customer attempted to intervene.

The statement said a report was made to the Besson Street Police Station and the incident was being investigated.

The statement said the HDC had since reviewed its security arrangements. It said the HDC consulted with staff to alleviate their fears and would be engaging its employee assistance programme (EAP) from Thursday.

Chairman Noel Garcia said he was appalled by the situation and further enforced security measures and enhanced security protocols were to be introduced to prevent such incidents reoccurring in the future in any and all HDC locations.

Managing Director Jayselle McFarlane said the incident was the first of its kind for the HDC.

“The HDC’s first response is for the safety of its employees and customers. Having engaged the employees today, I am grateful through the discussions held and the prompt response of the local authorities to the situation, that no lives were lost.”

The statement said the HDC has taken proactive steps to ensure the safety and well-being of its employees, visitor and customers in light of the incident.

“The HDC is grateful for the prompt response of its security personnel, who effectively managed the situation and ensured the safety of everyone involved.

“The corporation would also like to express its appreciation to the law enforcement and the emergency medical services for their prompt assistance and cooperation during this incident.”