Richie Sookhai

DRONE DONATION: Richie Sookhai, right, president of the Chaguanas Chamber of Industry and Commerce (CCIC), presents a drone to Acting Senior Superintendent Curt Simon at the Freeport Police Station yesterday. 

President of the Chaguanas Chamber of Industry and Commerce (CCIC) Richie Sookhai has warned of a Christmas crime spike as the state of emergency (SoE) comes to an end on November 29.

Sookhai said while the lifting of the SoE is “good news”, there is need for increased vigilance as well as a continued seamless process for the issuance of Firearm Users Licences (FUL).

He was speaking yesterday at the Freeport Police Station, where the CCIC donated a $10,000 drone to the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) Central Division.

Sookhai said policing is a community effort and the Chamber always stands ready to assist and he hopes the drone will help in deterring criminal elements.

Noting that the Covid-19 pandemic resulted in increased unemployment, he said,

“Given that now a lot of people have been without jobs for the longest while, we know that we will expect a spike in crime.”

He added that during Christmas time Chaguanas is a busy hub of shopping activity and there is need for not just the maintenance of Covid-19 regulations for security.

He said he was happy that the TTPS reached out to the Chamber for assistance.

“We are hoping with the proper training the drone will be effective in doing the necessary monitoring and surveillance,” he said.

Christmas, he said, is a very busy time and, with all hands on deck, there will be able to have comradeship and safety.

Sookhai noted that this country’s geographical position makes it is point where illegal guns and drugs pass through the borders.

He said it is difficult to “man everything” but it is concerning the ease at which criminals are able to access illegal arms.

“You can’t tell me it’s easier to access an illegal firearm when it should be easy to access a legal firearm through the appropriate channels,” Sookhai said.

He pointed out that under former police commissioner Gary Griffith the red tape was removed in accessing legal firearms.

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