The drop in crime in all the hotspots has been achieved without the expenditure associated with the $80 million Stephen Mastrofski plan, the $10 million Major-General Cameron Ross plan or two Canadians (a reference to former commissioner of police Dwayne Gibbs and deputy commissioner Jack Ewatski), National Security Minister Jack Warner boasted yesterday.
Speaking in the budget debate in the House of Representatives in Tower D, Port of Spain International Waterfront Centre, Warner said he looked forward to the day when murders would be a thing of the past.
He said in Laventille there were 81 murders for the year, the last one on September 9; in Four Roads, there were 10 murders, the last one on September 10; in West End (Diego Martin), there were 14 murders, the last one on September 10. In Carenage there were four murders, the last one on June 16. He said Laventille had 81 murders, with the last one occurring on September 9. "Never before in this country's history that ever happen. And I didn't have Mastrofski, I didn't have Ross, I didn't have of course two Canadians. What we had were people who were committed to change," Warner said.
Citing figures for this month, Warner said in the country there were no murders on October 1, one murder on October 2 (in Tobago), two on October 3 (in Port of Spain), none on October 4, none on October 5, none on October 6, one murder on October 7, one on October 8. "What PNM was in power this was unheard of," Warner said. He said the PNM was telling people that crime was out of control, but the facts showed otherwise.
He said while the low figures were music to the Government ears, it was grief to the Opposition. He slammed Laventille West MP Nileung Hypolite, whom he accused of looking for murders in his constituency of Laventille West, in order to disprove his (Warner's) claim that there had not been in murder in Laventille in 26 days. Warner said Hypolite was " taking a murder from Beetham and putting it in Laventille".
To Diego Martin North East MP Colm Imbert's charge that Government was "punishing" motorists by raising the price of premium gas, Warner said without the subsidy the price of premium gasoline would have been $6.21. "We are charging the public $5.75", he said. He said the price of super without subsidy would have been $6.48 and diesel $6.38.