Friday, October 12, 2012

Warner says he never instructed police to hold back statistics; police free to give it out as it sees fit

Jack Warner said on Thursday he would no longer give information regarding crime statistics because it is counter productive. And he told reporters at the post cabinet media briefing he did not give police any instructions to withhold crime statistics.

The Minister of National Security made it clear that at no time did he instruct the police on that matter and he does not have any intention of doing so. He added that the police are free to give whatever information they want. 

"I never told the acting Commissioner of Police or anybody in the Police Service anything about the statistics being revised or not being revised or saying that they shouldn't say, I have never told anyone that in the Police Service," Warner said. "I did not tell the police anything about withholding statistics."

Questioned about a statement that he made earlier in the week about what media have reported as a "gag order" on the police, Warner said he has changed his mind on that. "One gets wiser by the day, we hope," he said, adding that nothing is ever cast in stone. 

Warner clarified his position on statements about crime in Laventille, saying that he himself had been giving out statistics about how many days had passed without any murder being committed. The community was murder-free for one month until a single homicide earlier this week. Since then there have been two other homicides.

The minister said in retrospect he thinks that he was wrong because those daily updates may have prompted someone to commit a crime just to prove him wrong.

One reporter asked Warner to comment on crime figures that show that so far this year there have been more murders than the same period last year. He said the media ought to report that while that is so it must also note that last year there was a state of emergency, which helped keep crime low. The same situation doesn't exist today, he said.

Warner also spoke about the added security presence in Laventille with joint police and army patrols. He said he doesn't know how much longer it would last. And he said it would be extended to other areas as necessary.

He also responded to demands from trade unions and other organisations, including the opposition, for him to resign. He said that is a decision for the Prime Minister and so far she has expressed confidence in him.

The latest call for Warner's dismissal has come from Ancel Roget, the president general of the Oilfield Workers' Trade Union (OWTU) who described the minister as a "runaway horse".

Roget told reporters Thursday the trade union movement is prepared to stand with any organisation in its campaign against what is wrong. He said, "If it this time the prepared to stand up in the face of what is happening, we would not stop them from joining forces with us," he said.

Asked for a comment about the opposition leader's criticism of him, Warner said he doesn't take Keith Rowley seriously. He acknowledged that the media's role is different from his and they must take Rowley seriously. However he said he doesn't have to do the same.

He also said a Highway Patrol would be launched soon but without any fanfare. He added that the police service would operate within its budgetary allocation to acquire additional vehicles. He had previously announced plans for an additional 300 vehicles. He said some of them would be bought and others leased.

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai