PM: Crime all over Trinidad and Tobago

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley speaks at Conversations with the Prime Minister, at Skiffle Bunch Pan Theatre, Coffee Street, San Fernando, on March 5. – Photo by Lincoln Holder

THE Prime Minister says crime is all over Trinidad and Tobago.

Dr Rowley also called for an increase in police foot patrols in certain areas to curb crime there.

He made those statements at a Conversations with the Prime Minister forum at Skiffle Bunch Pan Yard, Coffee Street, San Fernando, on March 5.

Rowley, who is also National Security Council (NSC) chairman, said, “There was a time when violent crime, criminality and murder was Laventille.”

He added, “Crime, as a business, has now permeated the whole country. So it’s all over the country. From Cedros to Carenage. From Sangre Grande to Scarborough.”

Rowley was concerned about young people who were choosing crime as a way of life.

“If you don’t believe me. I am only expressing my view. There are people in this country who are choosing crime as a way of life and they have to be brought to heel by the State’s security agencies.”

Rowley said, while Government was doing what it could to put criminals in prison, there were others who were trying to keep them out on the streets.

“Now we are more concerned about those who have been convicted in the jail. But I don’t see any concern for the witnesses who got them in the jail, who got them convicted who now have to live in the same street with the murderer who has got bail and knows who got them there.”

Rowley said he had received complaints from members of the public that the police did not do sufficient patrols in some places and most of the patrols were mobile.

“There is no substitute for dedicated foot patrols.”

Rowley said, “Some policemen are required to walk the beats.”

He added that foot patrols were valuable in helping police officers to interact with the communities they served.

“Having police cars pass you with their windows up, driving past people in the road…sometimes when they are being flagged down…that does not help.”

Rowley said, “I want those who manage the police service to take that on board.”

He added that older urban areas such as Port of Spain and San Fernando “are still relying on well-resourced foot patrols, especially in sensitive districts.”