New strategies needed to quell rising gang activity in Tobago says Farley

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New strategies needed to quell rising gang activity in Tobago says Farley

Following a double homicide on Wednesday that pushed the murder toll on the sister isle to a record high of 13, Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Chief Secretary Farley Augustine says new strategies are needed to quell the rising gang activity there.

Addressing the THA’s 25th plenary sitting on Thursday, where he initially intended to give holiday greetings to President Christine Kangaloo, Augustine said he could not do so without acknowledging the state of crime in Tobago.

Augustine said the double murder was linked to gangs which originated in Trinidad but who are now operating in Tobago.

He told the assembly he was weary that Trinidad’s gang culture was being nationalised. According to the head of the island’s executive, business cannot continue as usual in light of the current pattern of criminal operation on the island.

“We have to have a very frank conversation about the crime fighting strategies on the island and what’s working and what’s not working. Because, if we have persons being killed and then the report will say that they were a member of this gang and that they were known to police, then certainly the strategy cannot be to wait until they die, or they are killed,” Augustine said.

“There must be a strategy to apprehend and reform our youngsters before things get out of hand because there will be collateral damage for people who are not involved in gang activity. And we have to sit and have that hard conversation, which means that we have to look beyond roadblocks and asking for your license and insurance as a way of treating with high levels of criminality,” he continued.