Friday, February 23, 2018

Warner: Murder toll unacceptable



Mark Fraser

FORMER national security minister Jack Warner believes if at least half of the initiatives in the 100-point crime plan he handed to Cabinet during his tenure at the ministry had been continued, this country would not be facing the bloodbath that is currently taking place.

Twenty murders have already been committed in the first eight days of 2014.

Warner yesterday described the situation as “unacceptable”.

He said there needed to be “national outrage” over the level of bloodshed currently taking place in this country.

“While it is the true the government or the police or anybody cannot be here, there and everywhere, there are certain things that we could put in place that will mitigate the situation,” Warner told the Express in a telephone interview yesterday.

“I am saying that several things that I started when I was the minister of national security if they had been continued, things would have been different,” he said.

During Warner’s tenure as national security minister, the month of January last year saw 38 murders over 31 days, according to statistics from the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service’s website.

Warner yesterday questioned the status of several initiatives he implemented during his time as national security minister including joint police and defence force camps in all critical areas.

“If these things had been done today we would not have been where we are,” Warner said.

Warner said the initiatives were shelved simply because he had been their source.

“Because they came from Jack Warner that is the reason why they are being pushed aside. It gives me no joy whatsoever for what is happening in the country,” Warner said.

He called for citizens to make their voices heard against the current state of crime in this country.

“There has to be a national outrage at what is happening and this has nothing to do with politics whether PNM (People’s National Movement), whether ILP (Independent Liberal Party), whether it is People’s Partnership this has to do with a nation that is in darkness but is anybody listening?” Warner asked and answered the question himself: “No because everybody is saying ‘it won’t happen to me’ and as long as it doesn’t touch us directly nobody is concerned.”

Warner said he had nothing against National Security Minister Gary Griffith but slammed him for recent statements that the majority of murders committed last year were criminals killing criminals.

“I don’t care who kill whom, a murder is a murder, criminals or not it is wrong, do not try to justify it that does not make sense,” Warner said.

What is even worse than the current bloodbath gripping the country is way the dead are being treated, Warner said yesterday.

“What is even worse is when these guys are murdered they have to stay hours on the ground before their body is removed,” he said.

On Tuesday Hezekiah Mark, 38, was shot dead when gunmen broke in and entered his Arouca home.

Warner said Mark lived a several houses away from him.

“Four or five houses from where I live a guy was murdered while he was ironing his ten-year-old son’s shirt to go to school and when they came for him he told his son run and he too ran,” Warner said.

“He remained in a drain from 7.45 a.m. until he was moved at 6 p.m., he remained there in the drain for the whole day,” Warner said.

“If you don’t take care of the living for God’s sake take care of the dead,” he said.

Warner was also on the crime scene of 21-year-old Derek Pina of Malabar who was gunned down in Arima on Monday night.

Warner said that body was also left on the ground for hours.

“He was killed around 8 p.m when I left at midnight the body was still on the ground and God alone knows when the body was removed,” Warner said.