Last update: 05-Dec-2013 5:01 am
Thursday, December 05, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Moonilal on security operation at Duncan Street: Fully-functional post by September
Housing Minister Dr Roodal Moonilal says the Duncan Street joint police/army post should be fully functional by the second week in September. Moonilal made the comment yesterday while speaking with reporters at the Housing Development Corporation’s headquarters in Port-of-Spain, after he met with seismic experts and structural engineers about their concerns over the location of the Couva children’s hospital.
“We expect by the second week in September to have it functional,” he said. The minister said when he visited Duncan Street with Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar on Thursday, he was confronted by residents pleading to be relocated from the area. However, he said, he was confident that the residents would feel more safe with the police post. “A lot of the tenants want to leave, that is the main issue,” he said.
“When I went there they confronted me and they want to be relocated. That may change if they know that a police post or an army post will be located there or is present on the estate itself. “People may not be as scared. But certainly those who have applied for relocation we are looking at it on a case by case basis.”
He was referring to the visit by the PM and a high-powered delegation of government and national security officials to Duncan Street on Wednesday. The moved was prompted by a spate of murders in the community which saw six people, including two teenagers, killed in under 24 hours. During her visit, the PM told residents of plans to increase police presence in the area, noting a joint police/army base would be set up in one of the apartments in Building 64.
Yesterday, Moonilal said the Government, after consultation with the national security forces, had decided that intensive army/police patrols, aerial surveillance, as well as intensified stop and search would be conducted in the area in an attempt to curb the spate of murders recently experienced. “They have a schedule for random stop and search and random aerial surveillance, so these are matters the police would want to respond to,” he said.
Moonilal also said Parliament would resume by early September and the Government intended to meet with the Opposition to discuss several legislative matters. He said the Government’s crime agenda included legislation and policy that would be discussed as soon as Parliament was reconvened. “There will be ongoing discussion with the opposition,” Moonilal said.
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