Police told: Hold PM to Independence support promise

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Rodney Charles –

OPPOSITION MP for Naparima Rodney Charles is advising the police to hold the Prime Minister to account for his Independence Day promise to support them.

Charles said they must hold on to Dr Rowley’s promise to support the TTPS through the challenges they face and demand better resourcing to gain a stranglehold on crime.

These damands must include, he said, “Body and dashboard cameras, 24/7 CCTV coverage of crime hotspots, a fully accredited forensic science centre, 24/7 border patrols, a fully resourced Director of Public Prosecutions’ office, functioning scanners at our ports, a caring judiciary that dispenses justice on time, fully computerised fingerprinting and other features and simply police stations equipped with computers, printers and station diaries.”

At the United National Congress (UNC) news briefing on Wednesday, Charles said the police must demand of the PM that all 1,796 CCTV cameras are up and functioning.

“Demand that our borders be manned 24/7, so that police officers are not struggling in vain trying to keep up with the endless arrivals of illegal guns and ammunition.

“Coast Guard vessels should be always patrolling our borders so that we do not have shipments of cocaine mysteriously washing up on our beaches.

“The TTPS must insist that all port scanners function effectively to detect illegal guns.

“They must tell the Prime Minister that Works Minister Rohan Sinanan’s poor management of the roadways prevents hardworking police officers from responding on time to emergencies.

“The TTPS must inform Education Minister Gadsby-Dolly that our education system is failing our young men who are dropping out of school by the thousands and falling easy prey to gangs. Fancy dresses and hairstyles do little to improve our education system.”

Charles also called on Attorney General Reginald Armour to treat with crime challenges facing TT first before taking a lead role in governing the legal ways automatic weapon systems (AWS) are used internationally,

At a conference held by the regional security network Caribbean IMPACS at the Hyatt Regency on Tuesday, Armour said the region had called for a pressing and legally binding instrument to govern the use of AWS, which were controlled by algorithms, not human interaction.

As a result, he said there were no pause buttons and he gave the example of a child running across the street if the AWS is aiming at a target in the same direction.

The consequence could be civilians becoming major casualties when AWSs are developed and deployed, Armour said.

National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds, addressing the same conference, agreed the weaponry posed a threat to this region.

Charles mocked, “We like to become involved in big things while ignoring important details in front of us.”

Firstly, he said, the AG spoke to criminals incorporating artificial intelligence (AI) in their arsenals and being able to kill without being physically present.

“We are now leading the conversation along with Caribbean IMPACS and Soka Gakkai International to propose a zero-draft policy to the international community to govern the legal ways AWS are used internationally.

“Our AG must be reminded that we have simple challenges with crime that are affecting us daily. Deal with those first. Train your guns on the challenges with crime before us.

“Provide resources to the DPP and the judiciary before you get into matters that, while important, are not pressing.”