The Joint Consultative Council for the Construction Industry (JCC) says it is deeply concerned about the “alarming increase” in crime and its serious negative impact on construction projects across the country.
In a statement on Saturday, it blamed “the normalization of “community leaders” by successive governments over the last 30 years” for contributing to the security problems the country currently faces.
The JCC for the Construction Industry has urged the Minister of National Security to explore alternative means of increasing the capacity of his Ministry to combat crime.
President of the JCC for the Construction Industry, Fazir Khan, said, “Criminal gangs are targeting contractors on both government and private construction sites, extorting money from them under the pretense of providing protection.”
The body said the cumulative cost of crime invading construction sites is estimated to be costing the country millions of dollars per day, contributing to approximately a 10% increase in construction costs over recent years.
According to the JCC for the Construction Industry over the last two years, reported incidents have surged, particularly in Trinidad, with Tobago experiencing a lesser extent of this issue.
The statement added, “Contractors have learned the hard way that when they venture into new areas to work, they must often employ individuals from the community who may lack the necessary skills, inclination, or work ethic required for a construction site.”
It went further in saying, “…criminal gangs now view most construction sites as easy targets, leading to turf wars and resulting in mayhem, including targeted and collateral damage.”