PORT OF SPAIN – A “mystery” iron barricade has been erected across the public road at Hell Yard, Beetham Gardens, and senior police officers have seemingly reached a dead end in finding out who is responsible for constructing it.
Once the person responsible is located, he or she will have to give answers, Senior Superintendent of the Port of Spain Division, McDonald Jacob, said Wednesday. When the T&T Guardian went into the area Wednesday, the barricade, painted in black and white, was fixed across the road, which is located north of Hell Yard and parallel with the Priority Bus Route.
Residing beyond the barricade is said to be one of Beetham’s notorious gang leaders and rumours have it that he is the one allegedly responsible for erecting the barricade.
A police officer assigned to the Port of Spain Division said they too had heard the rumours and added it was possible the barricade was put there to transform that particular area to a “gated community” in a bid to keep “outsiders” from entering.
“We, the police, can pass but if astrange car enters the area those vehicles are not allowed to enter.
“There are residents who are stationed around to monitor people coming in and going out of the area,” the officer said.
A resident who lives close to where the barricade is located told the T&T Guardian, under condition of anonymity, that it was erected by one resident (the notorious gang leader) in a bid to bring control and his “own law and order”.
Contacted on this Jacob confirmed that the T&T Police Service was currently doing inquiries surrounding the barricade.
“So far, what we were told was that the concrete wall that was erected was done so by the Government and it was done by a contractor but what we are trying to find out is who put that barricade there because we want to get it down. That is the public road. We are trying to see if anybody authorised it,”Jacob said.
Asked if the San Juan/Laventille Regional Corporation (SLRC) was contacted about it, Jacob said yes. He said also contacted councillor Franz “Delamo” Lambkin but admitted that they were yet to get real answers.
“We were told that it was not the corporation and that it could be someone from Town and Country but when we checked we were told that they are not aware of any permission being given.
“But still we are still trying to find out because we cannot just go in and demolish it, especially if someone gave authorisation. If someone did they willhave to give some answers,” Jacob said.
Lambkin Wednesday confirmed the police had enquired about the barricade. He also admitted no official permission was granted to anyone to erect the barricade.
He said in order for someone to have a closed community there must be ownership of the land by the principles intended and an application must then be made to Town and Country for approval.
Asked if that was done, Lambkin replied: “No, because if the application was made to Town and Country then it would have to come to the building inspector for the region and he said that he is not aware of it either.”
Asked if it could be a move by residents for protection, Lambkin said that while they understand people may feel insecure and would try to protect themselves, they (the relevant authorities) could not allow anyone to take the law of the land into their own hands because the road was a public one. He said anyone responsible for the road’s obstruction could be charged.