Glen Road residents say they are prepared to take legal action to relocate a new prison in their area.
Residents of Glen Road, Scarborough staged a protest at the new Tobago Correctional facility yesterday, demanding that authorities reverse the decision to have the facility in their community.
They said they have gone back into lockdown after the facility welcomed its first group of inmates last Saturday and this has not been sitting well with residents
One of these residents, Cherryl Morrison said having the prison at her “back door” has made her very uncomfortable.
As I child I attended the Scarborough RC school and I remember having to stay locked up in the school when teachers told us that prisoners had escaped.”
She said the school was further away from the old prison when compared to the distance between her home and the new facility is located. She added that a recent incident has placed the residents in a state of constant fear.
“ A few nights ago we heard gun shots in the area immediately we began to panic not knowing exactly what happened just because we know the prison is on our doorsteps.”
President of the Glen Road Village Council, Allan Richardson said he heard about the plan on the road. He lashed out against the Area Representative Marslyn Melville Jack who he said informed him she was unaware of the development.
“She is passing here to go to work everyday so she must know what is going on. This is a residential area and we are okay with commercial buildings but we will not accept a prison.”
Another resident Anthony Phillips who is a former prisons officer said he lives three minutes away from the new prison. And in addition to the location, the property is not suitable for the purpose.
“A prison has to have two fences and prison fence and a perimeter fence that does not exists. This is a community – this is highly disrespectful because this happened without asking how we feel about it.”
Both the Minister of National Security Stuart Young and Chief Secretary Ancil Dennis have publicly apologised to the residents.
That, however, didn’t appease the residents, as Mark Renwick whose business place is located a short distance away said,
“What is he apologising for? Who is he apologizing to? Is he apologizing because Stuart Young didn’t come and open the place?
Residents say they are determined and prepared to go the full distance to have the decision reversed even if it means legal redress.