Black Immigrant Daily News
FILE PHOTO: Kareem Marcelle with children at a community Christmas event at Beetham Gardens on December 26. –
Attorney and community activist Kareem Marcelle is calling on all public and private agencies to unite in order to more effectively tackle crime for the new year.
As of Thursday afternoon the murder toll for 2022 was 599, making it the highest murder toll in TT in local history.
Speaking with Newsday during a phone interview on Wednesday, Marcelle, who is also a resident of Beetham Gardens, said anti-crime initiatives should engage communities at all levels.
He said, while the police and the authorities had a responsibility to secure communities, private sector entities and citizens themselves should also be involved in the fight against crime.
He added that community involvement was crucial to bridging gaps between areas that were divided by warring gangs, referring to instances where residents from one neighbourhood could not access certain facilities because of where they were located.
“We have the Laventille Technology Centre, which is a centre intended to be a centralised hub in Laventille to bring all these programmes, however, we are seeing that people from east Port of Spain cannot attend the Laventille Technology Centre.
“You don’t have to take my word for it, you just have to Google search it to see young people from these communities like Dan Kelly, who have been killed in front of the Laventille Technology Centre because of the borderline issue. Persons have been shot, so they must go now and take a maxi and go to Barataria, or Arima in order to try to get it done. So we have to look at ways to make it safe for them.
“That, to me, is indicative that we have to have an all-inclusive conversation with the community in order to ensure proper execution and introduction of these policies.”
He said, despite these challenges, he was confident that police were introducing strategies to maximise their presence in these communities by having stationary or ‘static’ patrols in areas to better monitor at-risk areas while discouraging criminals.
Marcelle said while those strategies were effective in certain areas, hilly areas were more challenging to police given their inaccessibility, which he said was why there was need for more partnerships between the police and the public they protect.
EDITOR’S NOTE: More of Kareem Marcelle’s interview will be included in Newsday’s 2022 crime recap which will be published on Saturday.