Trinidad cops say evil has encompassed the land

In a rather unusual if not strange address to a regional business forum on Wednesday, newly appointed Police Chief Erla Harewood-Christopher blamed evil and the spirit of murder for Trinidad and Tobago’s alarming murder rate.

Speaking to the Chaguanas Chamber of Commerce, the country’s first woman police commissioner made it clear that the local police force does not now have the ability to stem the rate as it is “a bit beyond” the force’s capabilities.

“An evil has spread over the land and we must recognize, those of you who are spiritually inclined, you must recognize 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 percent 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,” she said.

The federation has already counted nearly 100 murders for the year so far even as police are searching for  more than 15 missing people. More than 600 people were killed last year, breaking the previous 2008 record of 529. Indications are that the rate this year could surpass 2022 if current trends continue.

So frustrated with the situation is the police chief that she verily believes that evil is stalking the land. Perhaps only prayer and divine intervention can help the troubled CARICOM nation.

“For this year alone, we have already recovered, as of the day before yesterday (Monday), 126 illegal weapons and over about three thousand rounds of ammunition. If you think of ammunition as one round of ammunition can kill someone, how many lives would have been saved or protected. The police can come up with whatever strategy, but unless we enlist the help of God, we will be working in vain,” she said.

Authorities have changed three police chiefs in the past three years or so with Harewood-Christopher taking up the post earlier this year.

She said the police 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 says, would be the dismantling of gangs whose internal turf and other wars are being blamed for a significant portion of the killings in the republic.

“Criminal gangs and drugs have been responsible for 65 percent of the drugs and murders in T&T. We know we can’t get your support unless you trust us.”