On March 9th 2018 we were told by Faris Al Rawi in Parliament that, “the aim of this Bill (Anti-Gang Bill) is to cause a disruption to gang activity. We propose to do that squarely by the clauses of the Bill.”
We were promised that once we passed the legislation gang warfare would be a thing of the past.
We were informed that the TTPS had the intelligence and we would witness intelligence led policy at its best. Why then is gang warfare so prevalent? It is arguably the biggest problem in the fight against crime. This weekend, residents described the shooting incident in Mount Lambert as “a scene out of a movie,” the incident took place around midday when warring gang factions trading bullets, resulting in three men being injured.
Under this PNM administration, the criminals have become more and more brazen. They no longer have any fear of committing crimes in broad daylight. Innocent bystanders are now even more fearful for their lives, since at any given moment, a stray bullet can come hurling their way.
Our nation’s youth have become the most recent murder statistics due to these daily shoot outs. In May, 14 year old Naomi Nelson was shot and killed during a shootout between police and gang members in Carenage.
In June, Nafisa Williams, an 11 year old girl was shot in Port of Spain and three others were shot during a drive by shooting in Belmont.
AG Al Rawi said there are approximately 2,459 suspected gang members nationwide whose names, whereabouts and alleged activities are known to authorities. If they know all the relevant data to find and arrest alleged gang leaders, then why has nothing been done after all the deliberation to pass the Anti Gang Bill? How can the AG boast of knowing gang leaders and their locations, when there are gangs openly at war on our streets and with innocent citizens being caught in the crossfire?
Internationally, the gang warfare issue has drawn attention to TT. It is posted and circulated on travel advisories to exercise increased caution when travelling to TT. Visitors are advised of the dangers they face, as they are now vulnerable to violent crime.
Can we trust the assurances of this PNM administration that they have the policies, plans and programmes to deal with crime?
This incompetent Keith Rowley-led PNM Government continously allows TT to be held hostage by criminals who routinely take to social media and advertise their gangs. The Anti Gang Bill will continue to produce no results if measures are not put in place to effectively operationalise current legislation instead of simply putting new laws on the books and hoping that they do something. As the years go by, there is an exponential increase in gang activity and gang related deaths. It seems as though the gangs have a stronger hold on TT than the Government does.