PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad -- With almost 19 days cleared for the year 2012 thus far, 30 persons have been murdered in the twin island republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Last year for the same period there were 29 murders.

Police Commissioner Dwayne Gibbs has asked the general population not to be afraid.

"In terms of comfort for the population, I hope that they realise that for most of these occurrences, they are not random. In other words, for the population, you do not have to fear for your own safety, in the sense that when you come out of your house, you are going to be attacked. No, that is not the case; most of these occurrences are the people know each other; it has to do with small pockets of criminal activity that occur, but for the normal individual, the average individual, they can feel safe in terms of their day-to-day activities and not have to live in that fear of crime," Gibbs said.

In December of 2011 the murder toll had risen to 346 and is believed to have been stymied by the implementation of a state of emergency, which started on 21 August 2011 and ended on 6 November 2011.