Cops want taxi operators to wear recording devices
Public transport operators are being encouraged to wear recording devices in order to assist the police in nabbing the criminals who often seek to rob and extort them of millions of dollars yearly.
"We beseech, we beg the get transport providers to wear devices that can capture the evidence because we cannot do it alone. We need their help," said Senior Superintendent of Police Clifford Chambers.
SSP Chambers, head of the Counter-Terrorism and Organised Crime Branch, said the investigation into cases of extortion is hindered by the reluctance of taxi and bus drivers to make reports to the police.
According to Chambers, the police have made arrests over the past year as they aim to build their cases against the masterminds of extortion.
"We arrest these persons not for prosecution, but to give us more information for our evidence building capabilities," he said.
But president of the Transport Operators Development Sustainable Services (TODSS), Edgerton Newman, is adamant that public transport providers should protect themselves by not reporting incidents of extortion to the police.
"Extortion is underreported because we are afraid because our life and property are in danger when we go to the police," he said.
According to Newman, extortion affects both urban and rural parishes with the transport industry losing more than $3 million.
"Although we lose this much, it is better we pay them than we report it and then something happens to us," Newman said.
The head of TODSS said he encourages persons in his organisation not to report incidents of extortion.
"We cannot say nor do anything about it, so we work it and tell the drivers to do it also," said Newman.
According to figures from the police, 36 taxi drivers were killed last year with robbery as the main motive in most of the incidents.