Trinidad moves swiftly to combat gang violence in school zones

PORT OF SPAIN -The Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) says it is taking “swift action” to contain the violence spilling into school zones after an 11-year-old student was shot and killed by a stray bullet last week.

Senior police officers including those from the Community Oriented Policing Section held discussions with principals and representatives from over 20 primary schools located in East Port of Spain on Tuesday.

The meeting, held at the Ministry of Education’s regional office, was in response to the recent increase in gang violence around schools in the area, including what the police have described as “the senseless murder of 11-year-old Ezekiel Paria, who was killed by a stray bullet last week”.

The meeting comes after Amoa Howe, 50, was shot and killed in the vicinity of a primary school in Belmont in east Trinidad last week forcing classes to be dismissed early on that day.

The Trinidad and Tobago Unified Teachers’ Association (TTUTA) president Martin Lum Kin said then that staff members and students were deeply and rightfully tramautised over the shooting death.

“We are quite concerned that these incidents have been too frequent in the last few years. We hope that the relevant authorities can make the necessary interventions,” he added.”

A police statement issued following the talks said that the officers “met with the educators to discuss intensifying efforts to protect students as well as staff.

“During the discussions, the principals expressed serious concerns over the safety of their schools, students, and staff who must commute daily through high-risk areas,” it added.

Senior Superintendent Harripersad Ramnarine is quoted as assuring he principals that the TTPS will intensify strategies to address the violence plaguing surrounding communities.

He noted that some of these measures would be implemented immediately, while additional proposed measures will be forwarded to the Commissioner of Police, Erla Christopher for her approval.

“The safety of our schools, staff and students remains the top priority. We are taking swift action using every resource available to contain the violence spilling into school zones, to ensure the safety of our dedicated educators and to secure the future for our beloved and vulnerable children,” Ramnarine added.

The statement said that the principals praised the TTPS’ commitment to the safety of the students in the area and recognised the challenges they face in tackling this issue.

The police have agreed to continue to collaborate further and a follow-up meeting with more stakeholders to develop solutions is scheduled for the upcoming weeks, the statement said. (CMC)

The post Trinidad moves swiftly to combat gang violence in school zones appeared first on

Leave a Reply