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Mystar: Homicide rate on the rise

Thursday, May 10 2012

SPOKESMAN for the Trinidad and Tobago police service Sergeant Wayne Mystar, yesterday noted that there has been an “upsurge” in homicides “over the past few weeks”. Mystar made this observation at the daily press briefing at Police Administration Building, Sackville Street in Port-of-Spain.

Mystar stated that although in comparison to the past two years, where the 2012 murder rate so far is the lowest, there are certain periods (with particular reference to the past two to three weeks) in which there are “notable spikes” in homicides.

He indicated that a host of reasons could be given for these “spikes” such as the “migration of criminals” to certain areas. Mystar said that in May, thus far, most murders are recorded in the Port-of-Spain area.

For this he attributes the potential migration or return of perpetrators to the capital city.

“What you find happening is that we will have a surge in criminal activities and sometimes that will be as a result of a migration of criminals from one area to another,” Mystar stated.

The details for the overall murder toll provided by Mystar are as follows: 133 murders were recorded for the period January 2012 to May 9. In 2011, for that same period, 143 murders were recorded and in 2010, 177 murders were recorded.

Mystar was also questioned in relation to last Saturday’s road accident in which a vehicle driven by a police officer slammed into Abel Wilson’s car and killed both him and his female employee, Sherry Britto.

Mystar was asked to state whether or not different rules apply for police officers, as opposed to the general public, when it comes to driving at high speed, particularly at intersections.

He stated that, “police vehicles and other vehicles are governed by the rules and regulations of the Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic Act. Emergency vehicles should exercise extreme caution when proceeding to an emergency.”

That would entail, he said, slowing down or stopping and ensuring that there is no oncoming traffic before they proceed. “In saving lives, we don’t want to put lives in danger.”

In an unrelated matter it was disclosed at the briefing that during a road block exercise conducted along the Mayaro Main Road, a 20-year-old man was arrested and charged for having in his possession a black plastic bag containing 650 grammes of marijuana.

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