Serious crime in Tobago reduced by 50 percent

Welcome home: Tobago-born new ACP Tobago Garfield Moore (left) is welcomed to Tobago by THA Chief Secretary Orville London. Photo courtesy THA.
Tobago’s crime statistics contradict the claim that people are more likely to be shot dead in Tobago than in Trinidad.

Garfield Moore, the new Acting Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of the Tobago Division, confirmed this on Thursday 26th February 2015) following his visit to the Administrative Complex, Calder Hall, where he met with Chief Secretary Orville London and Chief Administrator Raye Sandy for an hour.

Tobago’s second home-grown ACP insisted that crime statistics indicate that serious crime on the island was reduced by 50 percent in the last year. This contrasts with a recent statement by MP for Tobago West and Tobago Development Minister, Dr. Delmon Baker, that “your chances of being shot dead are higher in Tobago than in Trinidad”, he said.

The ACP said he did not know the source of the Minister’s information. He said the statistics reflect only a few shooting incidents, and pointed out that violent crimes also include people who are using knives and cutlasses.

“Based on our statistics, that statement should not be accepted. It does not come from the statistics that we have; 50 per cent reduction is really a large amount,” Moore stated.

Moore, who was born in Tobago, served on the island for 30 years before going to Trinidad, where he moved through the ranks to become an acting ACP. He replaced ACP Earl Gonzales, who picked up the post in early January.

London said Moore comes to the job with a level of inside information and institutional knowledge from which Tobago will benefit. The Chief Secretary is quite confident he will see further improvements in the level of service.

London recalled Moore’s statement that of the nine Divisions in the country, the Tobago Division is third with respect to the level of serious crime. The ACP has committed to bringing the Division to number one.

“What to me was most startling in respect to the statement but comforting as a Tobagonian is that he gave the figures which indicated that whereas there were 25 serious crimes in Tobago in 2013, the number in 2014 was 12 and again he has made a commitment to bring that down even further,” London said.

Moore announced a number of initiatives he plans to implement in the short term. These include instituting a case management system to ensure repeated offenders are not let off the hook and sustained training so that officers can maintain a level of efficiency and professionalism. He will also work on improving the level of trust within the Division. This, Moore feels, will increase public confidence in the police service.

Also among the initiatives, Moore wants to ensure that at least one day a week all police officers will be out patrolling the streets. Officers will also partner with the various communities to work towards reducing crime.

Another priority is traffic on Tobago’s roads exacerbated by errant drivers.

Moore said he was “humbled” to be the new ACP in charge of Tobago.

“I know it would be a challenge in terms of achieving some of the successes we want but by the grace of God I am determined that Tobago becomes a safe place again that we as citizens of Trinidad and Tobago, especially Tobago can feel safe,” Moore said.

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