I write to you in my capacity as Member of Parliament for the constituency of Caroni East, regarding the frightening and worrying escalation of criminal activities in various communities in that area and several other districts in Central Trinidad. This increase in criminal activity is, undoubtedly, an extension of the on-going national crime epidemic, which, as you know, has itself been a cause of grave national and individual concern for some years now.
With regards to the various communities in Caroni East, specifically, residents have reported to me that there have been several homicides in recent weeks, a fact that was reported in the various media outlets as well. In addition, the residents have also noted that there has been a marked increase in a host of other offences such as assaults, robberies, home invasion and other serious crimes.
The residents have informed me that as a result of this sudden, dangerous and seemingly uncontrollable rise in criminal activities in their respective communities, they have resorted to taking extreme precautionary and preventative measures to ensure that they and their dependants, inclusive of children and the elderly, avoid being victims of these heinous criminal acts. They have also pointed out to me that they have not had any indication thus far that these crimes are being dealt with by the relevant authorities.
I have been informed by said residents that one of the most common preventative measures they have now had to resort to, due to the unabated, ongoing escalation of crime, is self-imposed curfews on their individual and professional activities. This, they have collectively noted, has had a tremendously negative impact on their overall well beings, as it has resulted in them living in a mind-set of unease, worry and general fear. Further, they have pointed out that the wide host of small businesses in the district, (which undoubtedly, you may know, is a major source of employment and revenue for the constituents of Caroni East) are now being adversely affected. Several business owners have complained to me that, in addition to losing revenues due to the resident’s self-imposed curfew, they are now unable to attract employees willing to work after sunset.
This situation, as you would appreciate, constitutes a serious, ongoing violation of the Constitutional rights of the residents of Caroni East, who, as citizens forced to live under this current crime siege, are being denied their democratic rights to safety and freedom of movement. It is against this backdrop, therefore, that I am officially requesting a meeting with your good self and any other relevant senior officers you may deem fit, to address in the broadest sense, and with an aim to immediately alleviating in any possible way, this very serious matter.
Having duly, and with tremendous appreciation, considered your dedication and commitment to this country and its citizens, as evidenced by your decades of unwavering and committed public service in your chosen field, I await your earliest response, confident in the knowledge that you will continue to engage in your diligent efforts to ensure that all citizens of this country benefit from the official oath that governs your truly significant National office, that of “to Protect and Serve.”
Dr. Tim Gopeesingh,
Member of Parliament for Caroni East.