Senior Supt Rishi Singh

‘DISHEARTENING’: Senior Supt Rishi Singh, left, of the Criminal Investigations Department and the Criminal Records Office, chats with ASP Darryl Ramdass, centre, of the Anti-Kidnapping Unit and Insp Lloyd Lazarus of the Stolen Vehicles Squad following yesterday’s news conference at Police Administration Building, Port of Spain. —Photo: JERMAINE CRUICKSHANK

It’s a chilling fact that children, especially girls, leave their homes due to family issues such as sexual grooming by adults in their households.

This was stated yesterday by Senior Supt Rishi Singh of the Port of Spain CID at a news conference held by the police at the Police Administration Building in Port of Spain.

Singh said after this is revealed the Child Protection Unit and the Children’s Authority are called in to intervene.

“It is disheartening to hear these stores,” he lamented.

He said data about the missing person is taken and forwarded to the TTPS corporate communication department for dissemination via the media and on their social media pages.

“Upon return of the person said information is again provided to communication unit,” he said.

He explained that this year out of 152 missing people, 142 had returned. He added that it would mostly be girls or women leaving the home with 121 women and girls versus 33 boys or men.

He said their investigations concluded that when children go missing it may be due to them being disciplined. He called on parents to pay attention to their children’s behaviour and monitor their phones.

Also present at the news conference were Insp Lloyd Lazarus of the Stolen Vehicles Squad and ASP Darryl Ramdass of the Anti Kidnapping Unit (AKU).

Keeping the capital safe

Addressing the larger issue of crime, Singh said police were very concerned and were revisiting methods which worked in the past.

“It is of serious concern to us as the police service to the extent that the commissioner has called together all the various internal and external stakeholders to address the initiatives, to fulfil our mandate of safety and security in Port of Spain,” he said.

Last week Friday, one man was killed and several injured when gunmen ambushed and killed a vendor near Queen and George Streets, Port of Spain.

Singh said despite these issues the police were concerned about increased foot traffic as parents were now shopping for their children’s school books and the police had a mandate to keep the capital safe.

He said that Ag Police Commissioner McDonald Jacob had been head of the Port of Spain Division in the past and had mandated a revisit of older crime prevention methods that worked.

“We are also encouraging the business community to share information with us,” he said.

Asked about suspected criminals within the migrant community, Singh admitted that it is an issue but for now it was a small one.

ASP Ramdass of the AKU addressed concerns about kidnapping and missing persons, assuring that while the figures of those missing may look alarming it may just be a case of someone leaving home without saying anything.

He added that for 2022 there had been three kidnappings for ransom with two solved.

He said despite these figures the AKU was mandated to investigate all reports.

He said with regards to a missing person report there was no time frame when the report can be made and encouraged the public to do so immediately after.

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