Police Commissioner Gary Griffith has vowed to respond quickly and decisively to quell any attempts by people to escalate gang-related criminal activities in this country. Griffith and other senior officers of the TTPS detained several “persons of interest” on Friday night after alarming and threatening messages began to circulate on social media that a peace accord agreed to in mid-2020 by warring gangs was about to expire and that members were arming themselves to engage law enforcement.
Griffith, acknowledging the panic and fear the rumours had created among citizens, issued a press release through the TTPS on Saturday.
He said soon after being bombarded with questions from the public seeking to verify the information, Acting Deputy Police Commissioner, Operations Joanne Archie met with various specialised and intelligence units. The units included Guard and Emergency Branch (GEB), Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Multi Optional Police Section (MOPS), the anti-terrorist unit, and Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF), POS CID, all First Division officers of POSD, the Traffic and Highway Patrol Branch, and the POS Taskforce.
Officers moved into certain areas and detained people for questioning. They were taken to the Besson Street and St Joseph police stations where Griffith issued stern warnings to them that the “TTPS will not tolerate any plans among groups to cause any mayhem and destruction.”
Griffith, seeking to reassure citizens, stated in the release, “The CoP made it quite clear that if the messages circulating had any truth, the TTPS will move swiftly to take down any attempts to escalate any gang-related criminal activity that brings inconvenience to the public.”
He reminded the individuals arrested that attempts made at the end of June 2020 to disrupt the country were met with immediate resistance by the TTPS.
As a result of the messages which were circulated on Friday, the CoP said the TTPS had put certain measures in place should any attempts be made by gang members to create problems.
In a published piece in the Sunday Guardian in November 2020, statistics indicated between January to September 2019 there was a total of 392 murders, of which 142 were said to be gang-related. For the same period in 2020, 301 murders were recorded, of which 101 were said to be gang-related.
Criminologist: Five failed attempts by gangs to destabilise T&T
Commenting on the message that was circulated via WhatsApp, criminologist Daurius Figueira claimed it had emanated from “those who have been disadvantaged by the new order.”
He said, “To date, those who have been disadvantaged have made five concerted attempts for the tit-for-tat killings to recommence in gangland.”
Figueira said the term ‘new order’ was coined on June 30, 2020, arising out of the demonstrations against police violence that moved through various stages of gangland that were supposedly at war with each other.
Figueira said with gangland effectively coming together mid last year, and with the marijuana market now being over-supplied, “The cleansing continues with targeted elimination but no tit-for-tat war…”
He added, “Those who are not benefiting from this order, those who are excluded, have made five concerted attempts to recommence the tit-for-tat and the message referred to above is just another attempt.”
Figueira claimed previous attempts to trigger all-out gang wars had failed “because there was a discipline in place.”
He described the previous efforts as dramatic failures and said, “The WhatsApp message is an indication of their frustration,” since they are now “writing cheques they cannot cash.”
Asked if he felt the public should disregard the sentiments expressed in the message, Figueira said it was meant to “instil fear and trepidation.”
He said based on the failed attempts to deliver, it was very very unlikely they can deliver.
The message that was circulated via WhatsApp on January 15
WAR AT THE DOORSTEPS OF POS, “NO MORE PEACE” SAYS GANG LEADERS
Following the declaration for total peace by infamous “community leaders” of the Port-of-Spain district sometime in July 2020, there is information to suggest that such oath has derived to a point of expiration. *Kyle George aka Rebel 6* was murdered shortly thereafter such declaration for his disheartened views towards any peace treaty. Information also suggest that such notion for peace was an act of sensationalism and has ran its course. At present, a war brews over the streets if Port-of-Spain, provoking by nature via several local artistes whom are allegedly affiliated and aligned with a life of criminality.
C***** has since denounced himself from the *Rastacity* group and has associated himself and his disciples with another criminal gang known as *ABG* (Anybody gets it).
Law enforcement ought to be equipped proactively in dealing with this intent of social disruption.
According to reliable sources, the following persons are playing a critical role towards the intent to destabilise the State’s peace, the streets of Port-of-Spain to be exact by promoting violence through their music and other social media blogs which clearly states their malicious intentions.
SEVERAL POPULAR LOCAL DANCEHALL/TRINIBAD SINGERS ARE SAID TO BE INVOLVED
Town will burn to the ground.
Gangsters in and around Port-of-Spain and environs are actively preparing to engage in all out war with each other, as a mutual ‘truce’ has broken down. Reliable sources reveal that town heads are out for each others throats, and will not stop until their enemies are dead. Sources with credible intelligence are saying that T****, who has the backing of the muslims in Laventille, is expecting a large shipment of high powered automatic rifles that will be coming in today, Friday 15 January, 2021, and will be able to give Rasta City a fight they can’t win. C*****, who is still a big player in groups involved in organized crime, is believed to be ready with firearms and ammunition of his own, and the manpower to go the distance.
Residents in the Duncan, and Nelson Street areas, and including Mango Rose, St Paul and Basillon streets are expecting wanton violence and some are even going so far as to moving out.
Law enforcement should expect a series of gang shootings and people’s homes getting burned down, as gang members under T***** are accustomed to lighting persons house on fire.