Government committed to fight against crime

By Sue-Ann Wayow

PRIME MINISTER Kamla Persad-Bissessar says her Government remains committed in the fight against crime, and admitted there was “much more” the Government can do to prevent it.
However, she said, it was more difficult to deal with criminal acti­vity related to domestic problems.
Persad-Bissessar was speaking to reporters yesterday at her annual Christmas treat at Skinner Park, San Fernando.
“Murder is murder and every single one is painful and traumatic to us. We will continue to remain committed in the fight against crime. I know the Minister of National Security is doing the best that he can, but there is still much more that we need to do.
“Some of the crimes are crimes of passion. That does not mean that it is something that is right. Those are more difficult to contain where it is a domestic situation, where crimes of passion are taking place,” said the Prime Minister.
“Every crime is one crime too much and that remains number one priority in our list—to deal with crime in Trinidad and Tobago.”
Persad-Bissessar also commended Chief Justice Ivor Archie for working to reduce the waiting time for court matters.
An official statement from the Judiciary last Friday, concerning the delivery of judgments, states: “By March 31, 2014, all decisions outstanding for more than 12 months at that date will be deli­vered. By July 30, 2014, all decisions outstanding for more than six months at that date will be deli­vered.”
The Prime Minister told reporters: “There are matters that we could help with which is on a legislative scale. You remember the infamous Preliminary Enquiry Bill that we had brought to the Parliament, which remains yet unproclaimed. It is something we want to look at again because that could help to deal with some of the backlog at magistrates’ courts.
“So legislatory, there are matters we could do. We continue to engage with the Chief Justice, with the Judiciary in consultation to see how we could assist as well.
“This is not a new matter. Whilst there have been some reductions in the time spans for delays and the completion of matters, indeed there is more that can be done by all of us.”
The Prime Minister also has no problem with the reduced speaking time for Members of Parliament, from 75 minutes to 30 minutes, with a possible ten-minute extension, saying: “It was a step in the right direction.”
And she said the death of world leader and former South African president Nelson Mandela was a great loss to the world and she empathised with South Africans.
Mandela’s funeral service was held yesterday in his hometown of Qunu. • See Page 5
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