Naparima MP Rodney Charles is slamming Fitzgerald Hinds for being hypocritical in his support of a State of Emergency (SoE) despite years of his party’s criticism of States of Emergency and especially that imposed in 2011 by the Kamla Persad Bissessar administration.
Before that 2011 SoE, for example the murder rate was 485 in 2010, prior to that it was 509 in 2009. 2008 experienced a record 550 murders.
The 2011 SoE did its job in that the annual murder rate fell significantly to 354 in 2011 and 383 in 2012. Despite trademark PNM criticisms at the time and subsequently, the 2011 SoE saved hundreds of lives.
Notwithstanding this performance the PNM was hell bent, in the run up to the 2015 general elections, on portraying the SoE as evil, wicked, despicable, a UNC plot against the poor, and an anathema to principles of good governance.
PNM criticisms as usual were clearly not data driven.
“Hinds’ and presumably the PNM’s, recent conversion in support of a ‘State of Emergency’, is also evidence that this PNM government has no clear anti-crime plan and is operating mainly by extempo and vaps. It appears as though in desperation anything goes for this administration, as problems arise solutions are invented and policy is concocted “on the fly” as if from nowhere” says Charles.
We are now in extempore territory. They are operating tactically and responding with PR, vacuous statements and sometimes even hypocritical ideas, to the daily outrage in the country against out of control murders.
How is it that the BBC on August 2011 reported that the PNM had described the then SoE as a “panic response” to escalating crime? What has changed today?
In 2011 Hinds argued in the Senate that a State of Emergency was useless because nothing had been done to deal with corruption in the Police Service which was a major contributor to crime. He further described the SoE as “ill advised, unnecessary, disruptive and economy battering.”
Why today Mr. Hinds is it not also “ill advised, unnecessary, disruptive and economy battering?”
This especially as a mere two days ago, the same Hinds said that the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) needs to do much better in getting illegal guns off the streets and was under serving the country
It appears as though Hinds, and by extension this PNM administration, are essentially extempoing their day to day running of the country.
Incomprehensibly years ago Rowley said that “political points scoring” had become the main objective of that State of Emergency. He said “The quicker they end the state of emergency and release the state security services from this, the better for all of us.”
Extempoing will not solve crime, what is needed is a strategic, outputs oriented, all of government approach that will weed out rogue elements in the TTPS, reduce police response times, reinvigorate community policing, increase detection rates, reduce prison overcrowding and recidivism rates and improve trust between the citizenry and the TTPS.
We need to also make sure that our crime support institutions, like the Forensics Science Centre and our judiciary are adequately resourced and perform as they are paid to do.
The solution to crime lies not in PNM gimmicks, like a simplistic 10 point crime plan and off the cuff solutions by junior minister Hinds, but by a well thought out strategic approach that is data based, holistic, consensually developed, outputs oriented, adequately resourced and accompanied by measurable performance targets.
MP for Naparima