Northern Division cop vows reduction in Arima crime

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

File photo

Despite the spate of violent crime in the Northern Division North, specifically in Arima, Snr Supt Christopher Pamponette says he is confident the divisional police are properly equipped to tackle it.

Speaking at a police town hall meeting at the Arima Community Centre on Tuesday night, Pamponette said the frequency of violent crime has not been lost on him and the other divisional commanders and vowed to take the necessary steps to address it.

During the meeting, Arima mayor Cagney Casimire showed concern over the prevalence of crime in the borough and surrounding neighbourhoods

Referring to the murder of vendor Trevor Le Quay on De Verteuil Street on Monday afternoon, Casimire said it was troubling to residents.

“What we are seeing in Arima, this slight uptick in crime and yesterday (Monday), it was more than worrisome that we had a second murder in my neighbourhood yesterday, and two in five years is really unacceptable.”

Head of the Arima Business Association Reval Chattergoon also expressed concern over high crime and called for the executive to give the divisional police adequate resources to do their jobs.

Referring to acting Police Commissioner McDonald Jacob, who was Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) in charge of the Northern Division from 2015-2018, Chattergoon said he hoped he would understand the seriousness of the situation.

“Our Commissioner of Police has worked in the Northern Division so I expect we will certainly get some special treatment. Might I be bold to ask for that at this point? The statistics show that Arima tops first, second and third in just about every crime – with the exception of incest, possibly – four years in a row.”

In response, Pamponette said he also worked in the Northern Division during his first years in policing and understood the needs of the community.

He said despite the challenges he was optimistic the police, through a combination of community-based programmes and continuous exercises, would be able to better protect residents.

Referring to the splitting of the Northern Division into two parts – Northern Division Central and Northern Division North – Pamponette said resources would be better able to manage these designated areas.

“I am now returning to utilise my knowledge and experience gained over the years to aid in addressing the issues and challenges which confront the burgesses.

“The TTPS executive and the Northern Division administration, I assure you, have the ability to properly address the scourge of crime, and following analysis and extensive consultation the commissioner of police made the decision to divide the division into North and North-Central.

“This new initiative is a means of effective management of resources and crime over a given period.”

He said intelligence gathered on gangs in the area has shown they are carrying out different types of crime, including drug and gun trafficking, murders, woundings, extortion and all forms of robbery.

Pamponette served in the Homicide Bureau of Investigations, CID, Criminal Gang and Intelligence Unit and the Special Investigations Unit before being assigned to the Northern Division.