11/05/2018 – The Trinidad Guardian. / The death of young footballer Noah Simmons who was killed on his birthday on the steps of a house at the Marabella Trainline, has spurred a heart-wrenching appeal from independent anonymous crime-fighting agency, Crimestoppers.
In an open letter to innocent, law-abiding citizens, Crimestoppers appealed to the public to call the agency at 800-TIPS to report the people who own illegal firearms in their communities. The group also asked for information about the whereabouts of wanted criminals, hideouts of kidnappers and robbers as well as the identities and addresses of their beneficiaries.
Saying the letter was necessary, Crimestoppers said those disturbed by the death of Simmons and others like him, have the opportunity of reporting their tips anonymously.
“Just two days ago we looked at, and read the horror story of a young talented Trinbagonian who was killed apparently for simply being a teenager. The end of the story resembles many others in our beautiful country but is more tragic for a greater reason. If the newspaper reports are correct, residents of this particular community often complained about persons walking with firearms and firing shots “all hours of the day and night like is some kind of game,” Crimestoppers said.
The group wrote, “Did anyone and more specifically any adult in that community consider that possession of a firearm in this country without a firearm user’s license is still a criminal offense? Did anyone think that the right thing to do was to report these misguided persons to law enforcement? Finally, did anyone think that the same unreported firearm would have been responsible for the death of one of their own talented sons? We believe that someone did think about the questions raised.”
However, Crimestoppers said it was possible that people in the community were probably apathetic, and not sufficiently concerned to care. “We also believe that such a person may have been afraid. We also believe that such a person is now crying for the community’s son and expressing frustrations of a system gone totally awry. When will you, the innocent, law-abiding citizen with information on criminal activity realise to reduce crime the police needs your information? If it doesn’t bother you, then we will all continue to shed tears for our citizens lying on our streets and their bloody photos being shared virally across our digital devices.”
However, Crimestoppers said if the crime bothered citizens then they can find a way to discretely and safely report incidents. Crimestoppers said since 1999 Crime Stoppers Trinidad and Tobago has been safely provided this opportunity through its anonymous hotline.
Simmons, a student of Shiva Boys College was gunned down on Tuesday on the day he celebrated his 16th birthday. The suspect of Ste Madeleine who is wanted for gun relates charges, remains at large.