Sunday, February 18, 2018

Camille: Govt ignored PNM’s crime plan

Opposition Senator Camille Robinson-Regis said Government has not taken any of the recommendations made by the People’s National Movement (PNM) with respect to the fight against crime.

Last year a team from the Opposition, headed by Dr Keith Rowley, met with Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and her team to discuss crime-fighting initiatives.

Robinson-Regis was part of the Opposition team.

During her contribution to the Miscellaneous Provisions (Administration of Justice) Bill, 2014 at the Senate sitting on Tuesday at the International Waterfront Centre in Port of Spain, Robinson-Regis said the Opposition was ready to support the Government but to date it has not taken into consideration any of their ten recommendations made last year.

“You are not ready to deal with the crime situation, you have let the crime situation run fact in the first few days of this year alone there were 19 murders in this country,” she said.

She noted that the murder toll on Tuesday stood at 244.

She said the Opposition did advise Government to look at the issues of witness protection and this aspect was addressed in the legislation debated.

However, she stressed that more must be done in the crime fight by not only passing bills but ensuring they can be implemented.

“We continue to maintain the view that crime is not a partisan issue because it affects all of us as citizens,” she said.

“This crime legislation is essential, we admit that but we also want to caution the Government that despite the fear or the overarching concerns about the state of crime in the country, we cannot in trying to fix one problem create another problem,” she said as she warned about keeping someone’s DNA sample in a database over a period of time.

Robinson-Regis noted from 2009 to 2013 there were 2,117 murders.

“I’m concerned because as a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago it is sad to see so many people murdered in this small country of ours. It is not that we don’t want to see crime dealt with, it is not that we don’t want to see that aspect of the Government’s arsenal being successful because we do. We want to see crime at least reduced significantly in Trinidad and Tobago,” she said.