Abraham tells PM: ‘I will not shut up on crime’

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

I WILL NOT SHUT UP: Retired police supt Johnny Abraham at the second UNC anti-crime talks at Naparima College, San Fernando on Monday night. – LINCOLN HOLDER

RETIRED police superintendent Johnny Abraham has slammed the Prime Minister for chastising him for talking about crime and criticising the leadership of the police service.

He also welcomed proposals by Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar to make firearm user’s licences (FULs) available to more people, including police officers, and stand-your-ground laws.

Abraham made these statements at the UNC’s second anti-crime town hall meeting at Naparima College, San Fernando, on Monday.

At a press conference at the Office of the Prime Minister on January 18, the Prime Minister defended Police Commissioner (CoP) Erla Harewood Christopher from criticisms by Abraham at the UNC’s first anti-crime meeting in St Joseph earlier this month.

Abraham said the police had no leadership.

In response, Rowley charged that Abraham had ridiculed the top cop on a political platform and added that the statements “rotted his guts.”

Rowley said if he were Abraham, he would have shut his mouth.

In response, Abraham said, “Nobody is going to tell me to shut up. I will not be bullied to keep quiet where crime is concerned in this country.”

In the local government election campaign last August, Persad-Bissessar proposed easier access to FULs for law-abiding citizens. Abraham thanked Persad-Bissessar for extending this to police officers, allowing them to have firearms in their possession when they are off duty.

He told her that for this reason, 3,000-4,000 police officers are eagerly awaiting her return as prime minister in the next general election.

Abraham also called for a referendum on whether more people should have easier access to FULs.

He reiterated his claims that the police service is not being properly managed under Harewood-Christopher.

Abraham said officers who were denied opportunities for promotion are being ridiculed by some of their colleagues, causing a decline in morale in the police service.