Gail Alexander and Joel Julien
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Kamla: No ‘blue flu’ for Carnival
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar says Carnival 2K11 will be safe. She expressed confidence that police officers will turn out in their numbers for duty on Carnival Monday and Tuesday. Persad-Bissessar made the statement while speaking with reporters on Wednesday after the Siparia Womens’ Association’s Kiddies Carnival celebrations at Bhupsingh Park, Penal. “We will have a safe Carnival. I did not get the feeling that they (police) will be falling ill. They will continue to do their duty to protect and serve. I would expect to see a full turnout (of officers) as they would come out on a normal day,” she said.
Earlier in the day, the Prime Minister met with officials of the Police Social Welfare Association, all of whom, she said, gave assurance that police officers would be working. “I indicated to them, as we have been saying to everyone, we really cannot move from that (five per cent) at this point in time given the economic situation, the economic reality. I trust that we will have, as I have said before, we will have a safe Carnival,” Persad-Bissessar said. She said during the next few days the Government would install 60 closed-circuit cameras (CCTV) at locations nationwide in the run-up to Carnival celebrations.
“We already have the cameras, it is the installation, which the Minister of National Security has advised me, should just take a couple of days so it should be in place by the weekend,” she assured. While she maintained she was “very disappointed” with the Opposition’s position on the Capital Offences Bill 2011, Persad-Bissessar assured that the Government would not be deterred in its fight against crime. “We will continue with our anti-crime measures. We need to speed up the justice system in terms of preliminary inquiries which we intend to abolish by legislation, shortening the time to conviction and thereafter, actually going to trial,” she said.
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