Killing of breadwinner in midst of joblessness must be condemned – Bodoe

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Leroy Sifontis was shot and killed during a robbery along Siparia Old road on the morning of May 9. –

WITH joblessness on the increase and decreasing opportunities, Fyzabad MP Dr Lackram Bodoe said he is pained by the senseless killing of Leroy Sifontis during a botched robbery, while on his way to work, to earn a living for his family.

Bodoe has condemned Sifontis’ murder and is calling for government to do more to stem the tide of crime in his district.

He said the police is strapped for resources and unable to apprehend the criminals. Bodoe called on National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds to lend more support to the Oropouche, Fyzabad and Siparia Police stations, to enable them to apprehend criminals in a timelier manner.

He also called for increasing patrols in the various communities to prevent crimes of opportunity.

Sifontis, a resident of Darsan Trace, Siparia, and a security officer were attacked when they entered a vehicle claiming to be a PH taxi, to take them to their respective jobs, on Thursday morning.

Shortly after entering the vehicle, which was heading towards Fyzabad, a male passenger in the front seat drew a gun and announced a robbery. Sifontis and the security guard, who were seated on the back left and middle seats, jumped out of the moving vehicle, but not before being shot by the assailant.

Sifontis was shot on his back and wrist and died on the spot. The security officer was taken to the Siparia District Health Facility and later transferred to the San Fernando General Hospital for treatment of a gunshot wound to his buttocks.

In a statement, Bodoe said, “The senseless killing of Darsan Trace resident Leroy Sifontis, and the shooting of another person yesterday (May 9) morning as they boarded a taxi for work, is the latest of the continuing crime wave in our beloved country.

“Fyzabad has seen an upsurge in crime in recent months, with murders, robberies and home invasions occurring on a regular basis. The police, strapped for resources, seem unable to apprehend these criminals, in a timely manner.”

Bodoe said the crime wave is severely affecting business who are already reeling from a depressed economy.

An increasing number of his constituents, he said, are experiencing joblessness and financial hardship and the latest killing of this breadwinner on his way to make a living for his family is to be condemned.

“People continue to live in fear, as they go about their business of making a living, and even in their own homes. There is a pervasive sense of hopelessness amongst Fyzabad residents, as they worry about their safety daily.”

Five years later, he said, the local economy is yet to recover from the havoc wreaked from the closure of Petrotrin, and job opportunities for those who were severed from this company, still have difficulty finding stable employment.

“The continued lack of opportunities for young people, and for highly educated citizens adds to their frustration.”

He also made a plea for Government to create more economic, sporting, cultural and other opportunities for constituents, to add to those already provided by local non-governmental organisations.