Chief Secretary of the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Kelvin Charles is allaying the fears of Tobagonians that the spate of gun-related crimes will decrease in Tobago.
Charles made this statement after he met with Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith and other officials of the Police Service and Defence Force, at the Shirvan Road Police Station, on Wednesday afternoon.
The Chief Secretary was apprised of Griffith’s discussion with the business community, held earlier that day.
“I want to assure the members of the public that the matter is under control that is why the Commissioner of Police is here,” Charles said.
He said the business community was “given the requisite assurance that their concerns are of paramount assurance and the Commissioner’s office is treating with those matters with the urgency and importance that they deserve.”
Earlier, Diane Hadad, chairman of the Tobago Chapter of the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry of Commerce, told Griffith there is a “disconnect” between actual and reported crimes in Tobago.
Hadad said residents and business people are “not comfortable” with the situation.
“If we are not comfortable where we live and we cannot serve anybody, then I don’t know we will be inviting anybody here,” Hadad said.
Chris James, president of the Hotel and Tourism Association, told the officials that in addition to dealing with crimes on the island, security on the interisland ferry service must improve.
He said increased security measures in Trinidad resulted in criminals coming to Tobago.
Addressing the business community’s concerns, Griffith said: “A safer Tobago is a safer Trinidad.”
He said to this end, a special armed team of policemen will be stationed in Tobago to reduce the “slight” increase in crime.
“There are a number of initiatives and policies we will see in the near future. One will incorporate a close relationship between the CID… and an armed special operations response team.”
He said the specially armed team will address all gun-related crimes.
He also said security measures will be put in place at the seaport.
“There will be operations dealing with people trying to get into Tobago from Trinidad …also very soon we will have the coastal patrol service working,” the CoP said.
He said the police service’s Coastal Patrol team will work with the Coast Guard to assist in securing the Tobago’s coastal borders.