Sunday, February 24, 2013

New law coming to deny bail for gun and drug offences

Expect some stiffer legislation to fight crime ... and also some delays on the roads of Trinidad and Tobago, starting Saturday.

It's because the government has decided to increase the visibility of the country's security forces with more joint patrols and road blocks.

On Friday, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar held a meeting at the parliament building with the heads of the Police Service and Army to discuss the crime problem. Among those attending were National Security Minister Jack Warner, acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams, Major General Kenrick Maharaj, Brigadier Anthony Phillips-Spencer and Housing Minister Roodal Moonilal.

Express photo - PM Kamla greets Acting CoP Stephen Williams
Following the talks Persad-Bissessar told reporters about the increased visibility by security forces.

“We had a very intense meeting...and we have reached agreement on certain measures to take immediate effect with respect to dealing with what seems to be an upsurge in crime, mainly murders," she said.

"I hope that with the increased visibility we can bring a sense of comfort to our citizenry that there are more personnel out there looking after their interests in terms of protective services," Persad-Bissessar stated.

She also promised to "quickly" take to the Parliament legislation that would deny bail to persons charged with offences such as possession of firearms and the possession of drugs. She said the legislation would also change the sentencing for such offences from discretionary to mandatory, adding that such legislation "should be relatively simple."

The Express newspaper quoted Attorney General Anand Ramlogan as saying that he would take a note to Cabinet next week for the no-bail provision and for the precepting of soldiers. He spoke of the urgency of the matter and the current "three-strikes" provision.

"That means that three (or more) lives could be lost before you reach the no-bail provision. You can take a life with a firearm. People are terrified and the situation calls for tough measures. We were treating with the softer (social) side,but you must balance it with tough laws," Ramlogan told the paper.

The AG added that Justice Minister Christlyn Moore is "working assiduously" to put in place the infrastructure necessary for the implementation of the Electronic Monitoring Act, the DNA Act and the Act to abolish Preliminary Enquiries.

Newsday front page tells the story. Click here to read the full details

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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