Friday, January 19, 2018

Fuad: Service weapon would have helped

FORMER health minister Dr Fuad Khan

FORMER health minister Dr Fuad Khan said yesterday the murder of 22-year-old WPC Nyasha Joseph marks another “great stain” on Trinidad and Tobago and has suggested had the slain officer been carrying a service weapon, she might have been able to defend herself from attack.

In a statement yesterday, the Barataria/San Juan MP also extended condolences to Joseph's family and four-year-old daughter.

Khan said while details of Joseph's death are unknown, her murder should also inspire reflection and review as to how to prevent such tragedies.

“So this begs the question of whether she may have been better able to protect herself if she had been armed with her service weapon,” he said.

Khan said more citizens are losing their lives and the time has come for Government to reconsider its reluctance to make it easier for all citizens to take up arms, “to protect themselves against the growing criminal element”.

“I also restate my position that the granting of firearms licences should be removed from the Commissioner of Police, and instead be mandated to a commission on firearms control that can evaluate and process these applications,” Khan said.

“This commission is even more necessary in today's society, as ordinary citizens contemplate acquiring firearms and other weapons through illicit means in an attempt to protect themselves and their families from the dangerous criminal element.”

Khan said police officers should also be allowed to remain armed at all times, as they would not only be able to better protect themselves but also be able protect fellow citizens even when off duty.