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Youths being recruited for crime

News day / Addressing a town meeting at the Malabar Community Centre, Arima on Wednesday night, Jacob said since assuming the post of divisional head last November, he has been trying to get a better understanding of the level of criminality in the division.

“It is through the qualitative and quantitative data, we can now take a particular approach to deal with it,” he said. “It must be taken from two sides – the hardcore crime-fighting measures which we are putting in place, and in addition to that we need to deal with the other side, the most important side…interacting with the public.” Coming out of that process, Jacob said, it was found that young people in the region are being recruited into criminal activity. “We are getting at the young people and having the relevant programmes in place to ensure that the few who are bent on criminality in the area will have less recruits, because recruitment is taking place to get the young people involved in criminal behaviour in Northern Division, and we need to stem that tide.” Jacob said he met recently with Arima Mayor Lisa Morris-Julien, councillors, several MPs and a businessman on crime and deviant behaviour in the area.

He said the meeting was an eye-opener. “I now have a have good picture of what is happening in the Northern Division,” he said.

“In that meeting with the mayor and the councillors, I did something called a community comstat and coming out of that we got a very good picture of what is happening.” Referring specifically to Malabar, Jacob told the audience there were “certain pockets” of that area that are prone to crime and violence “When we look at what has happened over the last few years, we confirmed that there are pockets. The majority of the Malabar area is what we will consider safe zones.” However, Jacob expressed concern about a recent shooting near Pro Sports Bar in the Malabar South electoral district. He said strategies have been put in place to address violence there.

Jacob said the police have joined forces with security firms to address the commercial and warehouse break-ins in the community, and there had also been an increase in house breakins in Malabar within the past few months.

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