TTO | Mar 18, 2023

New woman police chief says evil has encompassed Trinidad & Tobago

/ Our Today

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Erla Harewood-Christopher, newly installed Commissioner of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS). (Photo: Facebook @tttliveonline)

Erla Harewood-Christopher, newly appointed Commissioner of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS), is blaming evil and the spirit of murder for her country’s alarming murder rate.

In a rather unusual if not strange address to a regional business forum on Wednesday (March 15), the country’s first woman police chief made it clear that the TTPS does not have the ability just yet to stem the rate, as it is “a bit beyond” the force’s capabilities.

This is somewhat similar to a position articulated in April 2013 by Peter Bunting, then Jamaica’s national security minister, who declared it is going to need divine intervention to address its rampant crime problem. He received widespread backlash for this statement with some people indicating that it is an acknowledgement that he cannot manage the job of securing Jamaica.

Speaking to the Chaguanas Chamber of Commerce, Harewood-Christopher was quoted as saying, “an evil has spread over the land and we must recognise, those of you who are spiritually inclined, you must recognise that this is beyond the physical and unless we seek the intervention of that greater spirit, whatever we may call him, we know we have different religions, so who will call him God, who will call him Allah, or Krishna, all of us, if not all of us, 99 per cent of us believe in a superior being and we need to invoke the help of that being, if we need to really bring T&T back to that place where we want it to be.”.

Murder spiralling

T&T is already reporting more than 100 murders so far this year, with the police searching for more than 15 missing people.

Indications are that based on current trends the Caribbean twin-island republic could exceed last year’s record of more than 600 people murdered, which broke the previous 2008 record of 529.

(Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Police Service)

Authorities in Trinidad and Tobago have seemingly been losing the fight against crime and violence, evidenced by the fact that it has changed three police chiefs in the past three years with Harewood-Christopher taking up the post earlier this year.

But the new Harewood-Christopher is standing her ground admitting that the cops are doing as much as they can to keep citizens safe, even arresting and charging a number of fellow officers for corruption and other felonies.

The main current focus, she articulated is dismantling gangs, whose internal turf and other wars are being blamed for a significant portion of the killings in the country.

According to her, “criminal gangs and drugs have been responsible for 65 per cent of murders in T&T. We know we can’t get your support unless you trust us.”


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