Written by on January 19, 2017

The U.S. Ambassador to Trinidad & Tobago has criticized the nation’s response to crime.

Ambassador John Estrada – who is Trinidadian, is in T&T and earlier in the week appeared on TV6 news program, Morning Edition, where he spoke on the country’s crime situation.

Estrada detailed how the U.S. government invests money and resources to aid T&T in building its law enforcement, yet the homicide rate continues to spiral out of control.

Pointing to the recent surge in violent murders of women and young girls, Estrada said that if he was in charge of the police, the nation would see results and if not, he would be the first one to fire himself.

He also expressed the need for judicial reform as he cannot understand how trials take so long for those charged with crimes.

Estrada also agreed with Police Complaints Authority director David West, who recently called T&T police service a gang, saying leadership at the top of the police needs to be held accountable.

During the program, Estrada also spoke out against child marriage, and terrorists supporters in the country.

In response to Estrada’s remarks via a press conference, acting Commissioner of Police,, Stephen Williams, told reporters “If murder was the only crime to occur in TT, I would have resigned”, but 12 other serious crimes have shown a marked reduction, and he is satisfied with the effort he is putting in and the results he’s getting.

He also said just days before Estrada’s comments, he wrote to several division heads out shortcomings in their divisions, and gave them 7 days to respond as to why he should not retire them early from the Police Service.

As of yesterday, there have been 27 murders in T&T since the start of the new year, including that of a 16-year-old girl.

Ambassador John Estrada has chosen to resign from his post tomorrow, the same day President Barack Obama leaves office.

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