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Dealing with Duncan Street

Sunday, August 18, 2013

If ever there was an East Port-of-Spain community in need of specific and directed social intervention, it’s the housing cluster centred on Duncan Street in the city centre. On Thursday, acting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams described the area in the vicinity of Duncan, Nelson and St Paul Streets as a nexus of crime, recording 138 murders within just 200 metres of housing real estate. Mr Williams’ word for it was “phenomenal.” A better one might be appalling.


This isn’t a cry for help, it’s an agonised scream in our collective faces and there’s little forthcoming from the Government that suggests that there’s going to be an effort to fundamentally change this hottest of hot spots. By Friday, it was business as usual for managing crime after the fact. The Duncan Street hot zone was on police lockdown, and the usual conversation about establishing a police post was under way.


Heavy police patrols created an armed counter presence designed to quell the casual murders that left six people dead on Wednesday  and would now be backed up by a police post in the area, after an emotional visit to the killing streets by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar. Housing Minister Dr Roodal Moonilal was decisive in his announcement that a new Duncan Street police/army post would be in place by the second week of September.



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