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PNM anti-crime plan the answer—Rowley
People’s National Movement (PNM) leader Dr Keith Rowley is promising the party’s new anti-crime plan, which is almost complete, will bring relief from the crime scourge. Addressing supporters at the Couva Chamber of Commerce building on Tuesday night, Rowley lamented that 63 people had been murdered in six weeks. “It is clear that the government, which came into office to bring us relief on the crime front,” he said, “has tried a number of vaps and vie-ki-vie and has failed miserably.”
He said the PNM was fine-tuning its crime policies and programmes, largely centred on improved management and accountability. “Because from our examination, one of the main failings to the national response to the crime surge is that they have simply directed resources at it, but there are serious gaps in reporting the accountability and if you rectify that, you would be on the way to ensuring that the resources that you place toward crime-fighting and security and insecurity would give you results,” Rowley said.
Two weeks ago, he said, Laventille East/Morvant MP Fitzgerald Hinds was in Fairfax County in Virginia, United States, working alongside police officers to see exactly how they operated. Although Fairfax County has a population of 1.2 million and the same kinds of problems as T&T, he said they have 1,400 policemen while T&T has 7,000.
“And we can’t police Diego Martin and San Fernando with 7,000 policemen. Something has to be wrong in the way we go about it, and we are trying to get to the root of that from a management standpoint.” The problem, he said, is that there are no consequences for wrongdoing in T&T. Introducing some members of his slate, he said Hinds, who he removed as a senator, will be contesting the post of youth officer and Jennifer Baptiste-Primus will contest the post of labour relations officer.
Responding to racial accusations against him, he recalled that during his tenure as agriculture minister he had managed Caroni (1975) Ltd, which had the largest body of Indo-Trinidadians. He asked his detractors to point him to one instance where he was accused of racial discrimination.