Anna-Lisa Paul and Bobie-Lee Dixon
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Crime is not down—blame the government
From the bemusing pronouncements about the decline in “serious” crimes, the crime debate has taken a bacchanalist turn. The minister of panels on the imagination, Senator Bhoe Tewarie, was on the CNC3 Morning Show last week, pelting blame—it’s the police. Ten per cent of the police force is out of the country. Regulations designed to protect the TTPS from political interference have enabled cops to be lazy, corrupt, and smug about it without consequences.
Questions: Everybody has known that for years. Did the PP, in power for three years, and in politics for three decades, just find out? Why did Cabinet allow former Minister Jack Warner to get rid of Dwayne Gibbs, the man who was changing it? Not to be outdone, former PNM senator and ongoing stalwart Fitzgerald Hinds made the trek from his palatial Maraval home to the morning show. He revealed that the opposition had given a ten-point crime plan to government which had been praised, then ignored.
Questions: your lot was in power for ten years, and had gobs of money. Why didn’t you implement your points then? When you came in 2001, the crime rates were at historic lows. Do you think the PNM’s hosting gangsters in a high-end hotel and giving them million-dollar contracts had anything to do with the surge in crime? So much for the obvious. The interesting question here is: what could the Government possibly do?
Related to the answer to that are the Commissioner of Police’s comments: first, that crime was concentrated along the East-West Corridor, where 73 per cent of last year’s murders had occurred. Second (and I might have misheard this): that the underlying problem was a pervasive mentality of violence.