urgent action on violent crime


Crime scene tape cordons off the area where a home invasion left three persons dead – two suspects and homeowner Nicole Moses – in Westmoorings on February 22. – SUREASH CHOLAI

• Report: February 24, 2022 – Nicole Moses is shot in a home invasion that happened in the morning just as she prepared to drop off her children at school. There was an exchange of gunfire and Moses was shot. She later succumbed to her injuries in hospital. Two of the intruders died at the scene, while a third escaped.

• Report: February 17, 2022 – Antonio Badenoch, 15, is gunned down not far from his home during a nationwide power outage. He reportedly left home and wandered along a nearby track while searching for an open wifi. Twenty-three spent shells were recovered at the crime scene.

• Report: February 5, 2022 – Andy Macias Hosein, a security officer at Ketan Jewellers on High Street in San Fernando, is shot in the back during the course of a robbery which happened around 10.45 am on a weekday. he robbers, who shattered glass cases and made off with valuables, subsequently shot Mr Macias Hosein near the store entrance as seen in the live recording of security cameras. Two of the perpetrators were subsequently charged.

• Report: February 1, 2022 – Ketisha Cudjoe, 21, of Harding Place, Cocorite who had been reported missing a week earlier, is confirmed dead after the discovery of her body at the Heights of Aripo. The body was in advanced state of decomposition and an autopsy confirmed she was assaulted. She was dumped in the same area that Andrea Bharatt’s body was discovered a year ago.

• Report: January 27, 2022 – Malik Straker and Joel Chambers are killed while sitting a vehicle parked in South Park Mall in San Fernando around 1 pm. The victims were reportedly gang members with histories of criminal charges. The perpetrators simply drove up and sprayed bullets on the windscreen of the victims’ vehicle.

The above represent six of the most brazen and sensational killings in Trinidad and Tobago – all of which took place within just a one-month period. This country recorded 449 murders last year, and trends for this year are already worrisome. Overall, criminals are now proceeding with increasing boldness, often armed with the most sophisticated of weapons and a lack of fear of being seen.

Several of the crimes mentioned above happened in broad daylight and at least one was known to be recorded on camera. There have been a number of reported “hits” on prisons officers, kidnappings appear to be on the rise, and there is a disturbing increase in reports of disappearances of young women.

There are allegations that some communities are patrolled by gang members who openly carry weapons, virtually holding residents to ransom.

All of these incidents together create fear in the minds of citizens. The families of victims and the general public often express a lack of confidence that the crimes will ever be solved.

This is clearly a state of affairs that cannot continue. All the issues, and their causal factors have been well-ventilated. The feeling of helplessness by the public at large is now pervasive. We are in a crisis of increasing proportions.

The Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce calls on the Prime Minister, as head of the National Security Council, the Minister of National Security, the acting Commissioner of Police and other authorities to urgently implement a short-term action plan to contain the scourge of violent crime. The TT Chamber stands ready to collaborate with the Government in working towards longer term solutions for the eradication of crime.

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