In the wake of an unholy weekend of murders, home invasions, robberies and disorder, it is abundantly clear that Fitzgerald Hinds has failed as Minister of National Security and must be removed from office.
Earlier this year, after Hinds presided over the bloodiest January in our recent history, I called on Keith Rowley to take action and remove the clueless, incompetent and negligent Hinds from his Cabinet. Less than three months later, the murder toll stands at 164. Since our nation became saddled with Hinds in the capacity of National Security Minister two years ago, 1,134 people have lost their lives.
This past weekend, which was supposed to be one of peaceful prayer and reflection by members of the Christian faith celebrating Easter, was marred by criminals brutalising and traumatising families in Cumuto, Mausica, Aranjuez and Cunupia.
Under Hinds’ watch, the crime situation continues to worsen, and not a single idea, plan, policy, or programme has been put forward to arrest the problem, apart from prayers.
Each arm of National Security is in disarray due to Hinds’ incompetence. The Fire Service currently lacks vital equipment to tackle fires in this dry season. Lifeguards continue to clamour for equipment and proper facilities. The Police do not have adequate resources to catch criminals. The Prison Service, the Defence Force, all are in trouble.
Hinds chooses to pontificate at public forums on what he feels are the reasons for the current crime crisis, without any evidence or data to support his claims.
This PNM Government has shown no interest in addressing the root causes of crime and criminality, including poverty, inequality, and lack of opportunities for young people.
A UNC Government will prioritise creating a safe and secure environment for all citizens.
We have already outlined our plans to restructure the Ministry of National Security into a Ministry of Home Affairs and a Ministry of Defence. We will also make it easier for law-abiding citizens to obtain tools to protect themselves, such as legal firearms.
We have a plan, and we have a track record of getting the job done and bringing crime down, and we are ready to get to work.
Kamla Persad Bissessar, SC, MP
Leader of the Opposition