Supermarket Association, business confederation speak out against crime

The content originally appeared on: News Americas Now

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Supermarket Association president Rajiv Diptee.
File photo/Roger Jacob

The Supermarket Association of TT (SATT) and the Confederation of Regional Business Chambers have raised concern over the increasing crime rate as the murder toll crossed 600 as of December 30.

“The unrelenting murder rate, which seems to be compounded year on year, looks destined to cross 600 for 2022,” said SATT president Rajiv Diptee in a media release on Friday. “These statistics not only shock the shopping public but also embolden miscreants while retailers hold their breath wondering if they are next.”

Vivek Charran, the president of the Confederation of Regional Business Chambers, added that the increase of violent crimes has left citizens fearful.

“The increased frequency of gang “revenge killings” in public spaces from high streets to markets and malls and the incidence of such homicides in broad daylight is eroding national confidence and causing great anxiety and fear within the population,” Charran said. “Home invasion and opportunistic crime within residential communities is also a cause great concern among citizens and the business community we have lost several businesses owners to crime in 2022.”

The confederation acknowledged the efforts of the TT Police Service, pointing out that it has been collaborating with the business community through various NGOs and regional corporations, but called for more joint patrols and greater co-operation between the police and customs, immigration and the Defence Force. It also commended the police for the building of a new Forensic Science Centre and a new ballistics center.

“This development has led to the solving of quite a number of murders. We are very pleased about such developments,” Charran said.

President of the Confederation of Regional Business Chambers Vivek Charran –

Diptee noted that as a result of crime, more owners are seeking firearm user’s licences.

“(This) comes at a time when there is a debate about whether the licenses obtained by some persons were deemed to be illicit or ill gotten. In that instance, we welcome the prosecution of those persons so that the legitimate needs of the business community, who continue to cower in fear of the criminal element, are met with some empathy by the office of the Commissioner of Police,” Diptee said.

He added that the cost of securing businesses from criminals, which was already very high, is now increasing with the growing rate of crime.

“This is a cost that can be decreased if there are serious and sustainable actions taken by the authorities to control and reduce crime levels,” Diptee said. “These costs borne by retailers have become necessary in the face soaring and organised theft. The perception lingers that there are no consequences for these actions.”

Diptee called for the authorities to provide a safe environment for businesses to operate. Charran called for more collaboration between the protective services and the business community.

“It is only through constructive dialogue, sharing of information and ideas and the building of trust that we can take back our streets and our beautiful country,”

The murder crossed 600 on Friday when a Diego Martin man was shot dead at about 11.30 pm.

Earlier in the day, a woman allegedly stabbed a man to death during an altercation in Chaguanas.

Police said at about 12.30 pm 53-year-old Likhram Pramlal got into an argument with the woman at his home on William Trace, Enterprise, Chaguanas over money.

The argument turned to a scuffle during which the woman grabbed a knife and stabbed him in the chest. He was taken to the Chaguanas District Health Facility where he died.