Almost ten months after handing over the controversial “crime report” to Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, political scientist Dr Selwyn Ryan has said he is in the dark as to whether the recommendations of the reports are being implemented.
The 436-page report, titled “No Time to Quit: Engaging Youth At Risk”, was laid in the House of Representatives by the Prime Minister on March 22, 2013.
And while there has been no public pronouncement from the Government on the status of the report, even as the crime rate escalates daily—with 32 murders so far for the year—Ryan said nobody from the Government has spoken with him or his team who authored the report.
“I have had no communication whatsoever from anyone in an official position on this matter since we submitted. So like you, I don’t know what has happened since,” Ryan told the Sunday Express last week.
Earlier this month, interim leader of the Independent Liberal Party (ILP)
Jack Warner placed a question on the
Order Paper to Persad-Bissessar, asking her to indicate the quantity of
money paid by the State to each mem-
ber of the Ryan Committee and to also
indicate which of the recommendations have been implemented, and which have not.
The detailed report was laid in Parliament while Warner was still national security minister. Warner resigned from the Cabinet on April 20 last year.
The question was due to be answered last Friday but because of insuf-
ficient time, it was not, the Sunday Express learned.
The Sunday Express was informed, however, the Government has been quietly implementing some of the measures.
A well-placed source said: “The report has been digested and pieced out to the various ministries to look at the recommendations and to implement them in their own areas, as well as to intensify our work in areas that we already started.”
The Sunday Express also learned ex-Caroni Ltd workers, who were victims of joblessness and economic depression following the closure of
the sugar factory, are receiving some
attention, consistent with the recommendations of the report.
In its executive summary, the Ryan Committee noted, “The propensity to crime resulted from certain conditions including broken and dysfunctional families, juvenile delinquency, peer
rejection, failure or disruptive behaviour at school, gang membership and incarceration.
This is matched by the availability of drugs, numerous opportunities for young men to gravitate to crime as an easy but dangerous way to earn a living, and a marked change in societal values over the last six decades since the promise of independence.”
It suggested the solutions require a commitment to short-term actions, coupled with sustained, long-term programmes.
“They (the solutions) speak to the
need for integrated governance, community empowerment, a comprehensive youth-development policy and a social contract that espouses poverty eradication, adequate housing, an improved education system, family support, health and wellness, and en-
riching leisure and creative activities.”
The report found young Afro-Trinidadian men in hotspot communities were more predisposed to being caught in the criminal world of illegal drugs, guns and violent crime if something were not done to curb the problem.
As well, it spoke of the need for
reform of the police and prison systems
and the establishment of a National Service Scheme.
As it relates to the drug crisis and crime, the committee recommended the Ministry of National Security should diligently pursue white-collar criminals from all sectors of the society, including law enforcement officials.
It also recommended: “Laws should
be instituted to deal with campaign financing—and more resources be deployed for fighting corruption, mon-
ey laundering and embezzlement, and
checks and balances instituted to keep
high-ranking officials, including politicians, in line.”
National Security Minister Gary Griffith would not comment on what
recommendations have been implemented under his ministry, saying he would “prefer if the Prime Minister responded to any questions about that”.