The Honourable Kamla Persad-Bissessar, SC, MP, Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, will meet with residents of East Port-of-Spain on Wednesday, August 21, 2013, to discuss several matters, among them, the upsurge in criminal activity in the area.
The Prime Minister will be accompanied by the Attorney General, Senator Anand Ramlogan, Minister of National Security, Senator Emmanuel George, Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister, Rodger Samuel, and other officials.
This will be the Prime Minister’s second visit to the area in six days. Last Thursday, Mrs Persad-Bissessar visited Duncan Street, Port-of-Spain, following the killing of several persons, including a pregnant 16-year-old girl. During that meeting, the Prime Minister met with the parents of the dead teenagers as well as other residents of the area.
The residents, mostly women, told the Prime Minister they were experiencing numerous problems in the area, the main one being gang warfare among the youths in East Port-of-Spain. But the gang warfare has taken the life of a pregnant girl, who was sleeping in her bed.
The residents listed several complaints:
1) Unemployment was too high among the youths.
2) Too many dropouts from the school system.
3) Mothers unable to care for their children when they go to work.
4) Drugs and gambling on the streets and in the HDC Plannings.
5) Armed outsiders lurking in their area at nights.
6) Dilapidated condition of the HDC Apartments in East Port-of-Spain.
During the Prime Minister’s visit last Thursday, residents said they were very familiar with the problems associated with East Port-of-Spain. Many of them offered solutions, which they say, could make East Port-of-Spain a safer place.
Mrs Persad-Bissessar promised to return to listen to the residents. She announced that a police/army post would be set up on Duncan Street in the shortest possible time. She also announced that a Centre outfitted with computers, will be opened for the children of the area.
As a result of that promise, the Prime Minister will be back in East Port-of-Spain on Wednesday.
The Prime Minister said, “I think it is important that I return to East Port-of-Spain to listen to the complaints, and to see what we, as a Government can do to assist. My last visit was very emotional as it came just days after several teenagers were killed. This cannot continue, and we must find a way to deal with it very effectively. I am hopeful that at the end of this meeting, some solutions can be offered to the residents there.”
The Prime Minister’s visit to East Port-of-Spain precedes a second meeting with the Leader of the Opposition, the Hon Keith Rowley, which takes places on Thursday, August 22, 2013, at 3.30 pm at the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann’s.
The first meeting was held last Friday at the Diplomatic Centre.