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Serious crime went down under my watch—Sandy
T&T’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, Brig John Sandy has said serious crimes and murders decreased during his watch as national security minister. He was speaking during the luncheon break of the Heads of Mission Conference 2013, at the Trinidad Hilton and Conference Centre, St Ann’s, on Tuesday.
The four-day conference was hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and is scheduled to end today. “I’m making the point that during my tenure I saw serious crime subside,” Sandy said. “From 547 murders in 2008, that went down between June 2010 and June 2012, when serious crime went down by 28 per cent and murder went down by 25 per cent.
“When you look at the number of murders and serious crimes, under this government it has subsided.” Asked if crime had spiked under National Security Minister Jack Warner at the helm, Sandy said the situation at present was no worse than when it was when the People’s Partnership came into government. In 2008, the murder toll was 547 and in 2009 it was 507. In 2010, there were 473 murders and in 2011, the year of the three-month-long state of emergency (August 21 to December 5), there were 352 murders.
Sandy said he was not happy with the crime situation now and he would like to see a T&T where there was no serious crime or murders. He added, however, the change was not going to happen overnight and certain things must be put in place first.
Sandy said crime could not be solved by the Ministry of National Security alone and needed the involvement of not only other government ministries and the judiciary, but other institutions in T&T must contribute in a national effort.
When asked how he felt not being in the hot seat regarding fighting crime, Sandy gave a boisterous laugh and replied since he was in the position for two years, his reason for being there initially was he felt he could make a difference and he hoped that since he demitted office the trend in plummeting crime would have continued.
He said it was his opinion that powers of arrest given to soldiers should be on a limited scale but regimental police already had that power. Sandy advocated that a certain percentage of around 25 soldiers such as NCOs, corporals, sergeants and lance corporals should be precepted and given powers of arrest. He said this was because on many patrols there was a lack of police officers to accompany the soldiers.
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