A week after a third member of a St Augustine family was murdered, MP for the area Khadijah Ameen returned to the community to offer support and called for the relevant state agencies to assist.
Speaking with the media at Trainline, St Augustine south, Ameen, who along with local government councillors for the area distributed boxes of food to residents, called on the criminals to stop the bloodshed.
She said after months of begging the police to intervene “we are now making some headway.”
“The situation with the murders is one of concern because not everyone in the Trainline is involved. There are innocent people killed. We have been asking the police to do their jobs and get the guns out of the hands of the criminals. We have young people falling prey to criminals. I as member of parliament for the area is not going to sit and say the Trainline is a dangerous place.”
She called on the National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds and Community Development Minister Donna Cox to give additional resources to treat with the social ills and criminality.
On May 10, ACP Wayne Mystar during a walkabout promised to increase police patrols to reduce the levels of violent crime plaguing the area. He promised a daily police presence. Mystar said anti-crime operations in the community will be supported by the formation of a police youth club and stronger community relations through neighbourhood watch groups.
Ameen said: “I am appealing to those involved in the violence in any way, whether victims or perpetrators, I am pleading for peace and for them to put down the guns and not take revenge for your sister or brother.”
On May 21, Roger Maraj was killed while selling coconuts at the corner of Jackson and Bushe Streets, Curepe. He was the third relative killed from the area and the seventh murder victim.
His cousins Geno Shah and Dillon Joseph were killed earlier this year. On January 24, 16-year-old Darshan Ramnauth and Shah were gunned down. During that incident Joseph was shot five times.
On April 26, Joseph was shot dead while selling watermelons near the Caroni roundabout, near the Cremation Site, by two gunmen.
Ameen said the community is also in need of social assistance programmes as residents were not interested in hand-outs.
“There are a lot of people who need jobs, there are a lot of young people who are school dropouts. There are those who can’t sustain themselves financially and their children are dropping out to assist.”
While handing out boxes of food, Ameen said the walkabout was an ongoing intervention by her office and councillors.
Residents who spoke, on the condition that they not be identified, said they were thankful for the presence of their MP and hope her calls for assistance are heeded by those in authority.