Citation(s) from the GunPolicy.org literature library

Townsend, Dorn. 2009 ‘Guns for Hire.’ No Other Life: Gangs, Guns, and Governance in Trinidad and Tobago; Working Paper No. 8, pp. 24-25. Geneva: Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva. 1 December

Relevant contents

Guns for Hire

Weapons of all types and calibres are also available for rent (UNODC and World Bank, 2007, p. 10). Over the last few years, there have been many cases of police and criminals leasing out their guns. Rather than charging a flat fee, rental prices are based on the size of the anticipated earnings from the crime that the borrower intends to commit. Thus, because the payoff is larger, renting guns for robberies of armoured trucks or kidnappings costs more than guns used for household or convenience store hold-ups.(14)

Also trumpeted in the country's newspapers and in interviews are accounts of weapons disappearing from police custody (World Bank, 2007, p. 3)…

According to social workers in close touch with gangs, this leasing/renting practice is waning.(16) Gang members tell them that with more imports available, other sources of guns have become accessible and prices are going down. Many are said to come from Guyana and Venezuela, and enter the country illegally, usually dropped off by boats.(17) No empirical data is readily available on the extent to which guns confiscated by the police reappear on the streets.

Sources cited:

UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime) and World Bank. 2007. 'Guns and Crime: A Case Study of Trinidad and Tobago.' In Crime, Violence, and Development: Trends, Costs, and Policy Options in the Caribbean, ch. 9. Washington, DC: World Bank. March.

14) Author interview with senior police officer, Port of Spain, 30 April 2009.

16) Author interview with social worker, Port of Spain, 9 May 2009.

17) Author interview with Trinidad National Security Office official, September 2009.

ID: Q11583

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