Trinidad and Tobago has recorded the grim milestone of 1000 murders under Keith Rowley’s absurd appointee 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.
This situation is untenable, and as Head of Government and Chairman of the National Security Council, we call once again on Keith Rowley to remove the incompetent Fitzgerald Hinds from the critical position of National Security Minister.
The people of Trinidad and Tobago want to see tangible results, with a Minister that can get this horrific slaughter under control, but all they have received from Rowley and Hinds are arrogance, insults and insensitivity.
Rowley has demonstrated complete contempt for citizens over the course of his tenure as Prime Minister, and he has abandoned his duty to provide for and protect the people of Trinidad and Tobago.
Just as Rowley’s current failed Attorney General Reginald Armour has proven to be utterly dishonest and a disgrace to his office, so has Hinds shown himself to be clueless and incapable of doing his job.
Hinds is a weak and absurd appointment that Rowley must now move on from for the good of the country.
Citizens of T&T deserve a Government that has the vision and plan to deal with the issues that face us.
The United National Congress has outlined several plans and programmes aimed at dealing frontally with the crime crisis, including restructuring the Ministry of National Security into a Ministry of Home Affairs and a Ministry of Defence.
The Ministry of Home Affairs will deal primarily with internal law enforcement and involves a focus on policing, to ensure that the deterrent is provided and involves action before the crime is committed. It also involves law enforcement response, detection if the crime is committed 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, work with our International allies in intelligence and joint operations, and also the critical aspect of policies to deal with terrorist activities both in prevention and immediate action if it ever arises. This Ministry would incorporate the Defence Force, Immigration and Customs to handle border control, as well as specific Units to deal with terrorist activity.
A UNC Government will introduce new criteria for the selection of police recruits. All new recruits will now have to possess at least a diploma in policing. We will develop these diplomae, undergraduate and postgraduate degree programs and implement them at the UWI Debe campus. These academic programs will be combined with a part-time police apprenticeship practical program.
Some of the new courses will cover:
· Law, Governance and the Criminal Justice System
· Neighbourhood and Community Safety
· Understanding Vulnerability, Risk and Threats in Society
· Technology in Policing
· Policing, Criminology and Victimology
· Practical Forensics for Policing
· Academic and Professional Skills for Police Research
· Methods in Policing and Security
· Investigation of Serious and Organized Crime
· Cyber Crime and Forensic Investigation
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.
The UNC remains ready to return good governance to Trinidad and Tobago and to create a safe and secure environment for all.
Kamla Persad-Bissessar, SC, MP
Leader of the Opposition