Hinds: I have no magic wand to stop crime

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

File photo: National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds.

NATIONAL Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds declared that he is no magician when it comes to dealing with crime.

He was responding to questions from Opposition MPs in the House of Representatives on Monday.

Information provided by the police indicates that Kelly Village in Caroni, has been identified as a crime hot spot. The Central Division Task Force and Emergency Response Patrol Unit have been given different assignments to deal with crime there

Hinds said special patrols and intelligence officers have also been assigned to the area and the police air support unit is reinforcing ground operations.

Caroni East MP Dr Rishad Seecharan asked Hinds when residents of Kelly Village could expect relief as a result of these operations.

Hinds said, “I don’t have a magic wand, but I can tell you that I am satisfied, as minister of national security, on the basis of the information I received from the police organisation, led by (acting police commissioner) Mr McDonald Jacob, and on the basis of the answer provided here today, that work is ongoing to deal with the problems as highlighted in that and other hotspots across Trinidad and Tobago.”

He added the efforts by the police in Kelly Village and environs are dealing with drug trafficking and other serious crimes.

Seecharan asked if a gun amnesty was being considered for Central Trinidad or the entire country.

Hinds replied, “Quite recently the commissioner of police, quite properly in my view and in the view of the majority of right-thinking people in this country, like Jamaica, like other countries in the world, has implemented a very active, ongoing illegal-firearm retrieval programme.”

This involves the police using intelligence to find and seize illegal guns, he said.

“That programme is ongoing and only recently, the commissioner demonstrated for us all to see a host of these illegal firearms recently collected.”