Black Immigrant Daily News
Supt Claire Guy-Alleyne, of the police’s Special Victims Department and Superintendent Rishi Singh of the Homicide Department at a media conference at Police Headquarter, Port of Spain, on Thursday. – ROGER JACOB
SOME 605 people were murdered last year, said Sen Supt Rishi Singh of the Homicide Bureau of Investigations of the police service (TTPS) at a briefing at police headquarters in Port of Spain on Thursday. He also said so far this year 18 people have been murdered.
The murder toll has since increased to 20 in 12 days this year as separate killings were reported in St Augustine and Las Lomas later Thursday.
Also present at the police briefing were Sen Supt Claire Guy-Alleyne of the Special Victims Dept and police information officer Insp Michelle Lewis.
Singh said last year the police solved 100 murders, of which 75 had been committed that year, translating to a 13 per cent detection rate.
Some 89 people were charged for those 75 homicides committed last year.
For the 100 murders solved last year (inclusive of some crimes committed in past years and some last year), some 129 people had been charged, he said.
Singh gave a breakdown of the circumstances of the 605 homicides committed last year.
These were: gang-related killings (245 murders), drug-related matters (95 murders), revenge (79 murders), robbery (52), altercations (51), unknown causes (47), domestic (non intimate) (13), domestic (intimate) (12), relationship-motivated (eight), unknown (five) and rape (one.)
Singh said the 18 homicides so far (at the time) this year had included 12 that were gang-related, five of unknown circumstances, and one owing to an altercation.
He said those 18 murders gave the police no satisfaction. He appealed to members of the public to reach out to the police to expose details on illegal items such as drugs, firearms and false number plates for cars.
Regarding the shocking murder of six-year-old Kylie Meloney, he said the police had made “significant headway” in their investigation.
“Persons of interest have been identified. He said the most significant cause of that shooting was “gang related.”
When asked about the 13 per cent detection rate for homicides, Singh said the police were not satisfied with it.
As to whether it was a deterrent against crime, he replied yes, as it suggested an ongoing perpetrator would be caught at some stage since the detection rate was not zero. Of the 18 murders this year, so far two look likely to be solved, he added.
Singh said, “We need citizens to be our eyes and ears, to assist us.” He said such help could help the police retrieve items before they were used to commit crimes.
Guy-Alleyne offered her condolences over the deaths of Meloney and other murdered children. Saying keeping children safe was everyone’s responsibility, she urged parents to be careful of the individuals whom they have around their children even other family members, especially anyone violent or criminal.
“Use your discretion when socialising.”
Guy-Alleyne reminded that under the Sexual Offences Act it was mandatory for individuals like parents, caregivers and teachers to report suspected child sexual abuse.
“If you see something, say something,” she implored the wider public.
Lewis recapped recent cases reported to the police. This involved men stealing bamboo from a man’s yard but then being caught by the police armed with a gun. Two Diego Martin men were charged with robbery. A 29-year-old woman of Enterprise was charged with murder after stabbing her 49 year old relative on Old Year’s Night.