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Member of Parliament for Fyzabad, Dr Lackram Bodoe MP.

Fyzabad MP Dr Lackram Bodoe is calling for more protection for prison officers.

In a press release on Tuesday, he said the shooting to death of prison officer Nigel Jones on Monday at the Fyzabad taxi stand in Siparia shows just how emboldened criminals have become in the country.

He said, “The fact that these criminals chose to gun down Mr. Jones in broad daylight, in a public place, and in the presence of his six-year-old daughter, is a signal that they fear no one and will show no mercy regardless of the circumstances. The fact that Mr Jones’ young child will now be scarred psychologically for life obviously did not matter to these hardened criminals.”

As he expressed condolences to Jones’s family, friends and loved ones, he said, “As a prison officer, Jones would have given service in the protection of society, in his role as a custodian of persons incarcerated for various criminal offences.

“The very fabric of society is threatened when citizens like Mr Jones, charged with the responsibility of looking after those in our prisons can so easily be taken out. The Trinidad and Tobago Prison Service, as an arm of our criminal justice system is an important barrier that protects society from descending into anarchy. It is critical that more be done to protect prison officers,” he said.

Adding that his earnest wish is that the perpetrators of this crime be brought to justice swiftly, Bodoe said, “In this regard, I urge the Minister of National Security to ensure that the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service is adequately resourced, especially in the light of what appears to be increasing criminal activity. The Government must act swiftly to provide leadership at the highest level of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service, by ensuring that a Commissioner of Police is appointed in an expeditious manner.”

When Guardian Media visited Jones’ home in Fyzabad yesterday, no one was there.

Social Development Minister Donna Cox had planned to visit his family, but her visit was cancelled until further notice.

An autopsy is expected to be done at the Forensic Science Centre this week following a COVID-19 test.