Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Jack calls out full protective forces to fight crime and protect citizens

Soldiers will set up five camps in crime hot spots across Trinidad & Tobago with members of the police force, coast guard and the air guard working together to combat crime.

National Security Minister Jack Warner called out all the protective forces Monday night after a lengthy meeting with acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams, Deputy Commissioner Mervyn Richardson, Chief of Defence Staff Kenrick Maharaj and the heads of the Coast Guard and Air Guard.

The top defence and protective personnel met with the minister to discuss crime following a bloody weekend in which nine persons were murdered. Sixteen people have been killed since the year began.

Warner told the media he is taking drastic measures to protect citizens for the Carnival season. "In the last four days there have been 12 to 14 murders, so by no stretch of the imagination that can make sense," Warner told local media.

He added, "There were 26 murders for the month of January last year and I have no intention of coming close to that figure. It is senseless and it is foolish.”

The Defence Force will set up posts in La Romain, Carapo, Toco, Guayaguayare and Moruga. “We shall move from three to five bases or camps, especially in those hot spot areas,” he said.

The minister said he's not sure if there will be one in Laventille. However, he gave the assurance that there would be a heightened police and army presence there.

"Besides helping the police with recovering guns we must also prevent the guns from coming into the country and therefore some of these camps must be coastal. If you prevent the guns from coming into the country it would be first line of attack in the fight against crime.”

The minister said the Air Guard would be working with the police and soldiers to provide 18 hours of surveillance a day until the end of the month. In February, the surveillance would be increased to 24 hours. Warner said the Coast Guard would establish coastal stations throughout the country.

"These stations will be manned by both police and the Defence Force. We have also heightened the visibility of the joint army-police patrols, especially in crime ‘hot spot’ areas,” he added.
Warner also told the media he has written to Attorney General Anand Ramlogan to get the legislation “speeded up as soon as possible” to give soldiers policing powers.

Warner said he is surprised at the "level of ignorance" in the country about "the new trend of the Defence Force." He said countries like India, New Zealand and Australia have changed their legislation to give soldiers more powers.

“The whole system of policing and the use of Defence Force has changed. Tell me what is the alternative? We are locked in a time warp and we refuse to come out the box. We have become so colonised that we don’t see the alternatives.” he added.

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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