Former attorney general Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj said yesterday that based on the murder detection rate from 2001 to 2013, the killers of 3,813 people are walking free in the country.
Maharaj said the crime situation in the country is totally out of hand and cited statistics to show 4,766 people were murdered in the country over the past 12 years with 953 being solved.
He said both the United States and UK governments are warning citizens about visiting this country, because “we are no longer the land of steelpan, calypso and limbo, but the land of crime, murder and violence”.
Speaking at a press conference at City Hall, Port of Spain, yesterday morning, Maharaj said the population should have a “wake-up call” with respect to crime, adding that no amount of public relations by the Government will give people a sense of comfort from the fear of crime.
Citing an “absence of leadership”, Maharaj said Government has a responsibility to do what has to be done to deal with crime, adding that it made no sense to blame the police since they were not elected by the population to solve crime.
Maharaj intends to launch a nongovernmental, and non-party political organisation called “Democracy Watch” in April to be the vehicle to conduct a public education programme to keep the nation abreast of a number of issues, including corruption, crime, and the emailgate scandal.
Yesterday, he touched on all three but has promised to deal with them in more detail at two other press conferences after the Carnival season.
Maharaj reminded the nation of manifesto promises by the People’s Partnership government when it came to office in 2010, to rid the country of crime and the criminal element, but said they have failed even after allocating some $22 billion to the Ministry of National Security and changing four ministers in that portfolio.
“The People’s Partnership has made numerous missteps, mistakes and errors with regard to national security since assuming office,” he said.
These included the “appointment of Reshmi Ramnarine for a top national security post, a misguided State of Emergency that did nothing to quell or reverse the crime crisis, the appointment of four ministers of national security, the Section 34 issue, (and) the restart of the Flying Squad”.
He accused the Prime Minister and her Attorney General of making “blunder after blunder” with the country feeling no safer today than it did before the Partnership came into office.
“The murders have become more gruesome, no one is safe except the Prime Minister with her heavy security detail.”
Maharaj said people are now living in a land where murder, mayhem and lawlessness are the norm.