UNC leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar. File photo/Sureash Cholai
Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar says this country has achieved “the grim milestone of 1,000 murders” under National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds.
“It was also the deadliest January in our history with 62 murders. Men, women and children are being slaughtered mercilessly in broad daylight,” she said in a statement as she once again called on the Prime Minister to fire Hinds.
In the past, Dr Rowley has dismissed the Opposition’s demand saying that changing a minister will not improve the level of crime.
In a release on Saturday, Persad-Bissessar said it was necessary to hire a National Security minister who could “get this horrific slaughter under control” rather than the people receiving “arrogance, insults and insensitivity” from the PM and Hinds.
She said the United National Congress (UNC) has plans and programmes to deal with the “crime crisis,” including restructuring the Ministry of National Security into a Ministry of Home Affairs and a Ministry of Defence, as well as introducing a diploma in policing as a criteria for the selection of police recruits.
Persad-Bissessar said the Ministry of Home Affairs would focus on policing – ensuring law enforcement was a deterrent, proactive action against crime, law enforcement response, crime detection and apprehension.
“Such measures include all aspects of policing, surveillance, use of electronic security, and proper intelligence gathering, as well as major aspects of internal security, such as Fire and Prisons Services. This Ministry also includes the maintenance of law and order, safety and security of citizens.”
The Ministry of Defence would focus on proper border protection by working with international allies in intelligence and joint operations, as well as policies and units to deal with the prevention and reaction to terrorist activities.
The policing diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate degree programme, she said, would be developed and implemented at UWI Debe Campus, and combined with a part-time police apprenticeship practical programme.
“In addition, a UNC Government will move to address the root causes of crime – poverty, inequality and lack of opportunity for young people. These are just a few of the many measures the UNC will introduce to reduce crime. We have a proven track record in dealing with crime, unlike the PNM – whenever the PNM is in office crime surges out of control.”