PM: Criminals’ families running interference for them

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley – File photo – SUREASH CHOLAI

THE Prime Minister claimed that one of the biggest challenges that law enforcement agencies face in fighting crime, comes from the families of criminals.

Dr Rowley made this claim at a PNM public meeting at San Fernando City Hall on Thursday.

“We have very many problems not the least of which is the crime and criminality that is on us on a daily basis.”

While he could not predict when the next crime will be committed or who the next victim will be, Rowley knew one thing.

“But what I do know, is that every time I hear that somebody has been killed, my spirit sinks a bit lower because every life is valuable.”

Rowley said he is opposed to anyone who arms criminals and profits from their nefarious actions.

He claimed the people who know the most about crime, are the ones who are keeping most silent.

“I regret to say this, the people who know the criminals’ best are the criminals’ families.Many of them are running interference for those criminals.”

Rowley said it is impossible for a police service of 10,000 officers to monitor every single person and every single house.

He reiterated this is why citizens who know about crime taking place in their communities, to provide the police with that information.

Rowley said, “The bottom line is the law abiding (people) have to fight as one army against the many armies of the criminals.”

He added, “Pick a side.Choose.”

While the Government is relentless in its fight against the criminal element on many fronts, Rowley said the situation is not helped by people in positions of authority, seeking to prosper by continuously foster division.

He placed the Opposition UNC in that category.

Rowley said, “Those who can prosper by division. They are on a frolic of their own.”

He added that the UNC’s only solution to reducing crime was, “Fire Faris (Al-Rawi). Fire Stuart (Young), Fire (Fitzgerald) Hinds.”

Speaking in the House of Representatives on Wednesday, Rowley disclosed that police officers have complained to him as National Security Council chairman about the “revolving-door arrangement” which involves repeat offenders being arrested, getting bail and continuing to commit crimes.

He told Opposition MPs that unless they cooperate with Government to pass measures to make crime unattractive to those who wish to profit from it, crime will continue unabated.

“The revolving-door arrangement has to be stopped.”

Referring to the police’s efforts to deal with criminal gangs and home invasions, Rowley said many people would be surprised at significant successes the police have been having.

The House sat on Friday to continue debate on a no-confidence motion against National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds.