ACP Collis Hazel – File photo/Roger Jacob
Head of the Tobago Division, ACP Collis Hazel, says an increasing number of stolen, unregistered vehicles are entering the island and are being used to commit murders and other serious crimes.
He said so on Thursday while delivering opening remarks at a stakeholders’ meeting at the Scarborough Library.
The meeting, which included representatives from the TTPS, Licensing Authority, Prisons, Fire and the Defence Force, was held to address crime and the rising number of road accidents and traffic offences.
Among the non-security stakeholders also at the meeting with representatives from the Tobago Chamber of Industry & Commerce, the Tobago Business Chamber, the Car Rental Association and the Taxi Drivers Association.
Hazel told the gathering that based on data from the TTPS’ Crime and Problem Analysis (CAPA) unit, “Tobago at this time is not looking good vis-à-vis our murders and road traffic accidents.”
He revealed that there have been six murders and six fatal road accidents. Police also retrieved six illegal firearms. On the murders, he said, “not a nice figure, eh.”
He said police are seeing a growing number of unregistered vehicles being used in the commission of crimes.
ACP Collis Hazel –
“What we are seeing are people coming in with vehicles from Trinidad that are not registered, stolen vehicles, bringing them in on the boat, don’t have number plates or plates that they have affixed for their own mischief. And they are coming and sitting here comfortable in Tobago’s space, committing homicides with them, committing crimes with them.”
Hazel said unsuspecting Tobagonians are also buying these vehicles “without understanding what we are getting into. Easy, easy like that and it’s not until something happens, will everybody sit and say: ‘well, we have to work together’.”
He lamented that many people are not obeying new road traffic regulations rolled out recently.
“We are seeing that people are just not abiding.”
Hazel attributed this to his belief that Trinidad and Tobago is not a reading but listening public.
“Therefore, we have to meet the people at the point they are at, on the highways and bi-ways and talk to them. That is the only way we can act as a catalyst for change. Because people will continue to be ignorant and ask, ‘why yuh giving me this ticket fuh’?”
He spoke of the deaths of Christian and Teresa Alleyne-Adams, who were crushed on May 18 after a truck collided and fell on top of their SUV along the Claude Noel Highway.
He asked the audience to reflect on the couple’s three young children who now have to grow up without both of their parents. On that particular fatal accident, he revealed that investigations were continuing, “so we will be able to certainly bring the perpetrator to justice.”
He pointed out that most accidents occur because of negligence, ignorance and recklessness.