Interim political leader of the Independent Liberal Party (ILP) Jack Warner has told Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar not to “shed any crocodile tears over crime”.
He said the Prime Minister was yet to implement crime measures he had suggested when he was Minister of National Security and a member of the National Security Council.
Warner said last night at an ILP mass meeting at Ojoe Road, Sangre Grande, “Almost everything in this country is at a standstill except corruption and crime, both which are now galloping out of control.”
He admonished his former political leader saying, “Since you are not crying over the corruption taking place under your nose, do not bother to shed any crocodile tears over crime.”
Persad-Bissessar cried last week when she visited relatives of victims of crime in East Port of Spain.
Warner called on the Prime Minister to implement half of the anti-crime measures which he had started when he was minister of national security and said: “Overnight, you will see the difference.”
These he said included the establishment a gun court to treat with gun-related offences, re-introduction of night courts, the establishment of courts in the remand yard of the Maximum Security Prison, the return of the Prison Service under the Ministry of National Security and review of the legislation as it relates to firearms matters so that the burden of proof lies with the defendant and not the prosecution.
Other measures include the “enforcement of liquor laws especially with regard to the sale of alcohol to minors, (and) the appointment of liquor law inspectors; construction of new police stations throughout Trinidad and Tobago”.
Warner said: “I had begun work on nine such police stations – Moruga, La Brea, Oropouche, Brasso, Maloney, Piarco, Arima and Cumuto and integration of a transformed Transit Police into the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS).”
This, he said, would allow the traffic wardens to police the Priority Bus Route.
He added that just before he was transferred from the Ministry of Works, he had received permission to recruit 1,200 traffic wardens.
“Up to today this has not been achieved,” he said as he called for the Prime Minister to implement other measures he had suggested such as the reintroduction of the highway patrol unit 24/7 along the major highways, the establishment of 32 Trinidad and Tobago Police Service community units (using the model which he opened in Belmont) and increasing the police fleet by over 300 vehicles including motorcycles.
Warner called on Persad-Bissessar to explain why no action was taken for the introduction of the use of radar guns and taser guns, the recruitment of 5,000 SRP officers to be trained at UWI, 3,000 of whom should be assigned as community support officers.
He said he had also proposed the creation of a virtual/cyber command centre
“Madam PM, there are over 30 other anti-crime measures which I had proposed including the creation of five army camps in key coastal areas; the creation of police coastal stations in 12 locations which I had named.
I had advocated that we address matters affecting the promotion for all ranks in the protective services and especially to address the regulations of the SRPs so as to bring some much needed to the police and this included the regularisation of the method of appointing a Police Commissioner.”
He added that among the list of measures which he had proposed were also measures to deal with corrupt police officers.
He said he had also advocated for a National Citizens Consultation on crime and had suggested taking a two-pronged approach – a soft, preventative and proactive approach (parenting, relevant education) combined with a firm-hand approach of the law.
“But no action to date Madam Prime Minister! Why Madam Prime Minister? Why? To solve the recent crime spiral, instead of leading, you are crying!”
He called on Persad-Bissessar to “free” herself from the cabal, and instead of a reshuffle, she should “fire them”.