PORT OF SPAIN – Police officers are bracing for what they say would be worse than reprisals in the Beverly Hills and Clifton Circular Road communities, which are currently at war with each other.
Last night, officers from the Besson Street station were called out to attend to two more house fires in Laventille.
Details were scant up to late evening but the Express was told that a team of officers had been dispatched to Clifton Hill.
Fear of reprisal among residents was an obstacle to both the Police Service and Fire Service in determining the motives behind what appeared to be arson.
Earlier yesterday, officers of the Inter Agency Task Force accompanied the Express to Clifton Road from Beverly Hills, where a parlour was firebombed in the morning.
The firebombing took place one day after three houses were destroyed by fire and 13 people left homeless at Clifton Hill on Monday afternoon.
At Beverly Hills, arsonists fire-bombed “K Corner Store” just after 3 a.m. The fire destroyed everything in the shop.
The owner of the parlour did not want to speak to the media.
At Clifton Road, police officers were asked whether they expect to see reprisals for the two days of fire bombings. One of the three officers replied: “Reprisals good”, adding what they feel would result would be far worse than just a reprisal.
Another officer said there is not much that can be done except that the community purges itself of the violence. He admitted that such talk may be construed as “inhumane” but that was the only solution, with the downside being innocent people getting hurt in the cleansing process.
One such innocent person is Jacqueline Job, whose two-bedroom home was destroyed when two men set fire to her neighbours’ house just after 2 p.m. on Monday.
Job said she was at home preparing a meal of fish broth with dumplings when the fire began. She said she could not attempt to put out the blaze and grabbed some of her identification cards along with that of her three sons, who were all born with autism.
Job said a wardrobe she had bought on hire purchase last November and paid off for last month was lost, along with her Bob Marley cassettes and other valuables.
She said the losses amounted to $350,000 and all that was saved was a kettle and what little she grabbed.
Her neighbours, Ida Hercules, Antoinette Bibby and Duane Skeete and their families, who all lived in separate apartments in the same building adjacent to Job’s, were the targets of the arsonists.
It is unclear which of the three families was the specific target. (Express)