Fear grips Enterprise again

Wednesday, April 11, 2018 - 05:15

Random shootings and acts of violence in Enterprise have once again sparked fear among residents who had been under siege from warring gangs in the district last year.

The latest incident took place shortly before midnight on Monday after a 37-year-old man, whose name was not disclosed, was shot several times.

The night before, a 27-year-old man was shot in a drive-by shooting. He succumbed to his injuries at the hospital. He was identified as Jesse Jeremiah, a one-legged man, who used crutches to move around.

That incident occurred at Phyllis Lane.

Speaking with the T&T Guardian, a resident in his 60s, said the situation was getting worse and the police could not deal with it.

He claimed there were too many corrupt officers, some of whom were linked to several drug blocks in the area.

“I used to go and buy my little weed long time and see for myself police officers pulling up and it’s a normal scene with them on the drug blocks because they running it and they are friends with the people selling the drugs,” the man, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said.

He said he witnessed police officers, in marked police vehicles, escorting vehicles carrying drugs.

“This is the reality of the situation, so crime cannot done here. The shootings will never end. Because people also take drugs on consignment and when they can’t pay they have to pay with their lives. Who giving guns to the young men too?” he asked.

Another woman, in her 70s, said that at nights she heard gunshots ringing out.

“It is frightening but we can’t do anything about it.”

“Sometimes, some days are very quiet but then the shootings start back and you hear somebody get killed but I live here all my life but very scared,” the woman said.

A mini-mart and hardware owner, popularly known as Shots, said a lot of small businesses in the area were closing down because of the increase in crime.

He said that people are too afraid to walk to a parlour or even drive to a parlour because of the random shootings and robberies.

He said his business was feeling the brunt of the upsurge in crime and said that maybe he was still in operation because he had no rent to pay.

“My business is no longer booming but that’s how it is now,” he said.

On Bhagaloo Street, 33-year-old Jason George was busy building an apiary. He said being a young person in the area, he had chosen not to get himself involved in criminal activities. George said once he showed that he was not a threat to the criminal elements in the area he believes he was safe.

“I go up to Crown Trace and it’s normal for me because they don’t see me as a threat but at the same time, I am very cautious. I mind bees and reap the honey and sell it to make a living and that is my focus,” George said.

He said that while there were police patrols in the area, they were not often enough.

A senior police officer from the Central Division when contacted argued that the police were doing the best they could to maintain law and order in the district.

He, noted, however, that there were avenues for people to take to report rogue officers and encouraged them to do so.

A release issued by the T&T Police Service yesterday stated that there had been a 12 per cent decrease in the occurrence of serious reported crimes in the first quarter of 2018, over the same period in 2017.

However, the police admitted that there was still a struggle where the murder rate was concerned.

Source: www.guardian.co.tt (Rgondor Dowlat)