Wednesday, April 9, 2014

No state contracts for gangs: Griffith

A government minister got a rare compliment Tuesday from a prominent member of the opposition.

PNM Senator Faris Al Rawi congratulated National Security Minister Gary Griffith on
the establishment of a National Security Special Operations Group to deal with gang-related activity, among other things. The senator said is "a very excellent initiative”.

Griifth told the Senate six persons had been charged under the Anti-Gang Act between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2013. He said the six are currently before the courts.

The Minister also stated that some initiatives of disbanded SAUTT are of value in dealing with gang activities and added that he is looking at them with a view to including them as part of national security policy. 

"Rather than have a special task force... what we are having now is a National Security Special Operations Group”, he said. Griffith added that the highly trained and specialised group could deal with hostage negotiation, counter-terrorist activities and gang warfare. 

He explained that this is necessary because of concerns that "certain elements in the Police Service "may be on the take at certain stations".

He added, “So we are putting a type of operation unit to ensure that there would be no breach in security as well as building back confidence and trust in the same Police Service to weed out those rogue elements in the Police Service so we can not have the problem where certain stations are being controlled and manipulated by individuals in gangs.”

Griffith said the unit would include the Army, Coast Guard, Immigration, Customs, the Police Service, Prisons and other relevant arms of law enforcement agencies. 

"This is not a covert unit and I think this was the concern with SAUTT...where you didn’t know what they were doing. This is not a clandestine unit, this is not a Flying Squad. This is something that is very open and transparent," he assured Senators. The group would report to the Commissioner of Police and the Chief of Defence Staff only.

Griffith added that the Government hopes to use plea-bargaining to go after "the big fish" and promised that no criminals would receive Government contracts.

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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