PM not satisfied by anti-crime gains

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Crime Scene Investigators collect evidence on the west-bound lane of the Churchill Roosevelt Highway on December 27 after four people were killed. – Photo by Angelo Marcelle

The results of crime prevention plans and strategies by the National Security Council (NSC), the police and the wider security services have not been satisfactory but the country remains focused on getting better results.

So said the Prime Minister in a statement on Saturday as he noted the “brazenness” of criminals in Trinidad and Tobago.

His comments follow a rash of murders in the last days of this year, including a quadruple killing off the Churchill Roosevelt Highway, near Spring Village, Valsayn on December 27, and the kidnapping of El Socorro businesswoman Anesha Narine-Boodhoo on December 29, which have sparked outrage by citizens.

Rowley said the NSC, which comprises government ministers and heads of protective services, met “fairly regularly” and the national security services were being constantly resourced to keep them available and effective.

He said 50 new patrol vehicles were recently approved for the police and the Defence Force, and the protective services were continuously detecting and managing the millions of rounds of ammunition and thousands of illegal firearms in the country.

He said criminals believed they would not be caught and that, if they were, they had nothing to fear from the judicial system. Rowley said officers would continue to try to prove them wrong. He said their job would be helped by more information from members of the public.

“To this end, we appeal to the public to assist in this fight, to eliminate these frequent outrages and gun crimes, in general, by providing as much information as you are able to so that the security service personnel can get ahead of the criminals before they callously add to the death and destruction that a handful of citizens wreak upon the vast majority of the population.

“An illegal gun in the hand of a citizen is not security to anyone. It is simply a clear and present threat to the lives of all citizens since any such weapon can only be used in committing a crime and frequent use of such weapons only helps to add to the suffering.”

He said keeping quiet about illegal weapons, intentions and actions would be the best gift people could give any potential shooter. Meanwhile, he said, the protection of society will remain the duty and focus of the state as it confronts those who chose violent crime as their contribution to the nation’s challenges.