Member of Parliament for Naparima, Rodney Charles MP. (Image courtesy Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago)

Opposition Member of Parliament, Rodney Charles, is warning that this country could see more than 600 murders in 2022, if there continues to be at least two or three murders daily.

In a statement issued this morning, the Naparima MP, who is the Shadow Minister for National Security on the Opposition benches, challenged Minister of National Security, Fitzgerald Hinds MP, to do his utmost to ensure at least a 10 per cent drop in murders, this year.

“Already the country has recorded 43 murders for January, almost twice the 24 murders last year. November last was the bloodiest November in our country’s history. October last under Hind’s watch, recorded the most murders ever for any October,” MP Charles noted.

“At close to 2 to 3 murders daily our country, if the murder rate remains unchecked, is on target to record over 600 murders for the year,” he warns.

The Opposition MP’s warnings come in the wake of the double murder in South Park Mall in San Fernando, in broad daylight, which the Police Service says “was a well-planned execution”.  On Wednesday this week, three additional murders were recorded—a security officer and two persons from East Port of Spain.

“We are indeed in Wild, Wild West territory with citizens living in fear and criminals shooting with seeming brazenness, impunity and regularity. The shots fired at the South Park Mall yesterday were heard by nearby Tarouba and St Joseph Village residents,” MP Charles stated.

The Naparima MP is concerned that the country’s murder rate is already out of control, and he maintains the Minister must do all he can to pull it back from the brink.

“Last year, the country recorded 448 murders, which means that Hinds must commit, if he is a performance-oriented manager, to a target of under 403 murders this year,” he said.

However, MP Charles is not optimistic Minister Hinds can get the job done and fears the murder toll will increase on his watch.

He is challenging Minister Hinds to bring down the murder rate or resign as National Security Minister.