12 Feb
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Crime Analysis 2016 – A Review of Murders January 1st to December 31st 2016

Crime Analysis: A review of murders for the period January 1st 2016 to December 31st 2016 Tuesday January 3rd, 2017 Quick Review (click on links bel

The Powerful Ladies of Trinidad and Tobago (PLOTT) are engaged in a number of activities as we seek to raise awareness and understanding of the contributors and repercussions of the spate of aggression and violence across Trinidad and Tobago. Among these activities is this publication – our monthly crime analysis – which includes geographic, demographic and temporal analysis of the murder rate on a monthly basis, i.e. a year to date analysis at the beginning of the month as at the end of the previous month.

What are your concerns with regard to crime?

See below for our year end analysis, a review of murders as at December 31st 2016.

The Murder Toll

The murder toll figure of 458 was derived from the overall homicide figure, however adjusted to represent those where the unlawful killing of another human being was with intent (or malice aforethought), and excludes other forms of unlawful homicide, such as manslaughter.

The 458 murder toll was based on information from various sources as of 7 A.M., January 2nd, 2017.

According to the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service, the final murder toll for 2016 was 462.


The total number of murders committed in 2016 was approximately 458. The mean age of murder victims was 34 years, the youngest victim was 1 year old and the eldest was 85 years old. Most murder victims were males of African descent and the most typical weapon used was a firearm. Almost one quarter of all murder victims resided in one municipality in Trinidad, the San Juan/Laventille municipality. Although in many cases the motive for the murder was unknown, most were presumed to be “gang-related”. Gang violence typically occurs in open public areas, targets other gang members and is perpetrated by using a firearm (Small Arms Survey, 2010), this year 36.2% of murders occurred in open public spaces and 75% of victims were killed via firearm. In Trinidad many victims of gang-related crimes occur near to or at the victims’ homes as the victims are entering or leaving their homes, this is most likely because of their proximity to and instability of “gang territory”; many gang members of opposing gangs grew up in the same neighbourhood and know where one another live or frequent (Townsend, 2009; Maguire, Willis, Snipes, & Gantley, 2008).

Gangs are a key risk factor for violence and victimization in a community and is certainly the leading cause of murder in Trinidad & Tobago. Gang violence is usually defined in two ways either (1) a gang member is the victim or offender or (2) the motive of the violent act furthers the goals of the gang (Klein and Mason, 2006). Motives are typically economic, retaliatory, territorial, or aimed at social control (Small Arms Survey, 2010).

The graphs below show an analysis of 458 murders; data gathered from various sources as at 7A.M. January 1st, 2017.

Demographic Information

Information was gathered on the victims’ sex, race, and age.

In 2016, the majority of murder victims were males (88%, 404 victims) while 10% of victims were female. Most murder victims were in the 26-35 year age group (36.9%). More than half the murder victims (61%) were of African descent. Almost one quarter of all murder victims (22.5%, 103 victims) were males of African descent in the 26-35 years age group.

See figures 1 to 4 below.

TT Murders by Gender 31-Dec-16

Figure 1 – TT Murders by Gender

TT Murders by Race 31-Dec-16

Figure 2 – TT Murders by Race

TT Murders by Age 31-Dec-16

Figure 3 – TT Murders by Age

TT Murders by Race and Age 31-Dec-16

Figure 4 – TT Murders by Race and Age

Temporal Information

The frequency of murder incidents by month and time of day were analysed.

There was no significant difference in total murder incidents among the months, however the most incidents occurred in January.

Almost a quarter of the time of day of murder incidents was unknown (105, 22.9%). However, of the murder incidents where time of day was known, the majority occurred between 8 pm and 11:59 pm; these four hours accounted for a quarter (24.7%, n=113) of all known incidents. The hours between 4am and 1:59 pm had the lowest murder frequency.

See figures 5 and 6 below.

TT Murders by Month 31-Dec-16

Figure 5 – TT Murders by Monthly Distribution

TT Murders by Time of Day 31-Dec-16

Figure 6 – TT Murders by Time of Day

Be on alert…

Take note of trending areas, times of day and places (site) of murders to date.

Geographical or Spatial Information

Crime does not occur with equal incidence across a nation (Maguire, Willis, Snipes and Gantley, 2008) but instead seems to cumulate in certain areas dubbed ‘hot spots’. Criminological research has therefore focused on investigating the causes of these spatial concentrations of crime.

Researchers have found a correlation between crime and factors such as population density, poverty, social conflict and social influence (Alesina and Glaeser, 2004; Janowitz, 1975; Maguire et al, 2008).

This analysis had to rely on 6 year old population census information as this was the latest update from the Central Statistical Office i.e. the 2011 Population and Housing Census Demographic Report. This may have affected the reliability of the death rate per municipality as well as any comparison between population density and murder rates.

Residents in the municipalities of San Juan/Laventille, Chaguanas and Arima had the highest rate of death by murder compared to residents of other municipalities.

The highest frequency of murders took place mainly in two municipalities, San Juan/Laventille and Tunapuna/Piarco.

See figures 7a and 7b below.

TT Murders by Municipality 31-Dec-16

Figure 7a – TT Murders by Municipality (murders comparative to population per municipality)

TT Murders per Municipality 31-Dec-16

Figure 7b – TT Murders per Municipality

Crime Scene Information

Three quarters of all victims were killed via firearm.

While most males were killed via firearm, most females were killed via a sharp instrument.

Most victims were killed outdoors in an open public area, either near to or at their home.

See figures 8, 9 and 10 below.

TT Murders by Method 31-Dec-16

Figure 8 – TT Murders by Method

TT Murders by Rate and Sex 31-Dec-16

Figure 9 – TT Murders by Mode and Sex

TT Murders by Place Body was found 31-Dec-16

Figure 10 – TT Murders by Place Body was Found/Killed

The Victims

Who were they?

They’ve got names, faces and families; they were someone’s mother, father, son, daughter, sister, brother…they could have been you!

Click here for the full list of victims year to date.


Do Your Part

Together we can address crime. How do we intervene before its too late?

Based on our ongoing analysis of the contributors to and geographic spread of violent crime, we see that these crimes are not isolated to any one specific community, the perpetrators of these crimes reside in your neighbourhoods and workspace, they may well be your friends, family and colleagues.

It is our intention to make the content of these publications accessible to all citizens of Trinidad and Tobago. As the issue of violent crime persists, PLOTT has engaged a number of strategic partners to assist with expanding our current research, analysis and community outreach.

We are a nation in crisis. What’s our National Response Plan?

What if we were to address the aggression and violence in our society as a contagious health disease? As we would an epidemic? Would that end, curb or minimize the impact? We believe so.

This disease is infecting and killing an entire generation. While ongoing analysis is necessary to assess the spread of the disease – essentially an overall health check and assessment of the infected population – even more critical is awareness, education and empowerment. When it comes to securing the lives of the people of Trinidad and Tobago, prevention is better than cure.


On December 22nd 2016 PLOTT launched CSAFE, a FREE anti-crime app for the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago. This initiative is part of a wider community outreach programme in partnership with the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service, Community Defence Services Limited and the Powerful Ladies of Trinidad and Tobago (PLOTT) to address and prevent crime.

CSafe Promo-short

The new app allows COMMUNITY DEFENCE to quickly disseminate emergency alerts, and post news about missing or wanted persons, public safety notifications, and weekly crime reports. In the event of an emergency, app users receive instant notification via their mobile devices. Citizens can easily send comments and crime tips — anonymously if you wish — and place calls to COMMUNITY DEFENCE’s 24Hr hotline with the touch of a button. You can also notify Policing Agencies about suspicious activity and log trouble reports with Public Utilities easily by uploading images through the app.

To download the app, search “COMMUNITY DEFENCE” in your app store. Available on Android, Apple and Windows platforms.

CSAFE Download instructions

Contribute to the success of CSAFE

CSAFE on Morning Edition 23-Dec-16

Click on image above for ME interview 23-Dec-16

This programme is indeed a revolutionary move for T&T.

Join PLOTT’s upcoming Networking Luncheon and Roundtable Discussion to find out more about how you, your company and community can be a part of this positive movement for change. Come contribute to the success of CSAFE.

Turning a blind eye and deaf ears to the ills of our society make us all accomplices. While it may be a coping mechanism for many, its detrimental to us as a nation. Let’s together ensure the future of T&T is SAFE.

In the interim…

Please remain on the alert, be safe and cooperate with the authorities –

please report any and all crimes you’re aware of, witness or are the victim of – in doing so, you may just save a life.

24 Hour Hotlines:

Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (Emergencies) – 999

Crime Stoppers – 800-TIPS (8477)

National Domestic Violence Abuse Hotline – 800-SAVE (7283)

CSafe Logo.jpg
Crime Stoppers logo
Domestic Violence TT Contact Numbers

Helps us rebuild the village that once raised our children.

We trust you’ve found this update helpful.

Our Monthly Crime Analysis is a public service provided by PLOTT, please do take a moment to let us know if you appreciate the content and format of these releases. Your feedback helps us improve upon our service to you.

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