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Top cop not ‘proud’ of murder rate

Tuesday, December 24 2013

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WHILE SAYING he is not proud that the murder toll for this year has already surpassed that of 2012, acting Commissioner of Police (CoP) Stephen Williams yesterday said he has nothing but praise for his officers whose hard work resulted in serious and violent crimes dropping by 33 and 30 percent respectively.

Williams made this comment yesterday during a walk in Port-of-Spain he had with Minister of National Security Gary Griffith, Chief of Defence Staff Major General Kenrick Maharaj and Acting Assistant Commissioner of Police Stephen Ramsubhag.

Flanked by several uniformed officers and officials from the Defence Force, the senior officials walked along Queen and Charlotte Streets, checking in on officers who were stationed at the road corners and talking to street vendors and citizens.

Williams said that “statistically”, by way of cumulative numbers, this year has seen the lowest level of serious crime reports in the last ten years. “We set targets for this year and have met those targets, especially in terms of serious and violent crimes.

“And when I say violent crimes, let me clarify...these are cumulations of murders, shootings, woundings, robberies, rapes and kidnappings. So the number of violent crimes, which yes include murders, our target for 2013 was to see this reduced by 18 percent.

“As of this day, we have achieved a 33 percent reduction. Now to me, that is just phenomenal.

“We are admittedly challenged by one statistic and that is in relation to murders and we will address it in the upcoming year. The media has also thrown up in later part of 2013, that regarding low detection rates, and this, too, we will also address in the new year.

“But until then, we will continue our duty. Some of our other targets which we have achieved include a reduction in fatal accidents by 21 percent; a reduction in road traffic accidents by 16 percent; serious crime reduction by 30 percent.

“Now yes, the murder and detection rate, it is very low, and I am saying I am not proud of that, but I am proud of the achievements that we have achieved, and the police officers in this country have worked very hard to get those achievements,” Williams said.

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