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Security minister calls emergency meeting

Police Commissioner Stephen Williams.

Police Commissioner Stephen Williams.

PORT OF SPAIN — National Security Minister Emmanuel George yesterday called an emergency meeting with the heads of the country’s protective services in the wake of a dozen murders being committed in less than 72 hours.

The meeting was chaired by George and included Police Commissioner Stephen Williams, Chief of Defence Staff Major General Kenrick Maharaj, Commanding Officer of the Trinidad and Tobago Regiment Colonel Rodney Smart and Deputy Police Commissioner Mervyn Richardson.

The meeting, which lasted two hours, began at 9 a.m. and was held at the Ministry of National Security, Abercromby Street in Port of Spain.

Speaking to the Express in a telephone interview yesterday George said the meeting was called to “deal with the murders”.

Of the 12 murders, five are being treated as gang-related, George said.

The five classified as gang-related are the double murder in Santa Cruz which claimed the lives of Gregory “Jamdown” Charles and Sherwin “Dan” Cole and the triple murder in Laventille which claimed the lives of Jamal Michael Justin Fox, Jamal Fox and Shaquille Bishop.

George said, according to statistics, serious crimes still remain down in this country, including murders as compared to last year.

The murder toll, according to an Express tally, is 225 as compared to 244 last year and 238 in 2011.

George said he understands these figures would mean little or nothing to the family of murder victims and expressed condolences to the families of all those killed.

He said the protective services have to do “extra” to get a better grip on crime but said the war will be won.

The Police Service may be embarking on additional crime prevention exercises, George hinted yesterday.

Richardson described yesterday’s discussions as “very fruitful”.

He described the 12 murders in less than 72 hours as a “flare-up”.

“Everybody is committed to the cause and we have some intelligence that we are working on and we feel secure and sure that we will arrest this situation and those responsible in a very short time,” Richardson said.

“Every so often we have these flare-ups where we have these unnecessary things done by people who fall outside the normal pale of the society and the laws and the norms,” he said. (Express)

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