PDP: Farley ‘selling dreams’ with THA police unit

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

PDP political leader Watson Duke outside the Assembly Legislature, Scarborough, June 24. – Photo by Corey Connelly

Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP) political leader Watson Duke says the THA cannot establish a police unit in Tobago because there must be legislation in place to do so.

During his $3.95 billion budget presentation in the Assembly Legislature on June 24, Chief Secretary Farley Augustine said the legal review to give effect to the police unit has been completed and the path was clear for implementation.

He added the THA was also preparing to do a public-safety audit, the results of which will inform the institutional design and operation of the department.

But speaking at a news conference on June 25 at the PDP’s headquarters, Port Mall, Scarborough, a fiery Duke said, “They speak about fixing national security and they have found a way to get Tobago police. Nonsense! They cannot have any THA police. I tell you that. Mark my words. They will come back again next year talking about this THA police. They cannot have any THA police.”

Duke said there must be legislation to establish a police unit under the ambit of the THA.

“Either you amend the THA Act to say the THA can have police or you create some other type of law. But there must be law for that. Who will the THA police report to? It cannot be Farley. It cannot be the chief secretary. So I don’t know why they are going (around) selling Tobago these dreams.”

He said if the THA really wanted to stop crime “they have to get down on the ground.

“I am on the ground daily and people are hurting, people are frustrated. You know how difficult it is to watch your child crying from hunger and you cannot feed that child. You know when the landlord come for rent and you cannot pay that rent. It is a burden for their mind.”

Duke claimed the psychiatric ward at the Scarborough General Hospital is overflowing with patients.

“They have seen more patients now than ever before because people are breaking down mentally. It is only so much they can take.”