Newly-appointed National Security Minister Gary Griffith says he intends to seize crime "hot spots" from the control of criminals and gangs. Griffith said: "There are certain criminal elements that actually believe that the communities belong to them. This will end."These so-called hot spots will be seized and will again belong to the citizens in those communities."Griffith made the comments while speaking to reporters, following a meeting with his predecessor Emmanuel George at the ministry on Abercromby Street, Port-of-Spain, yesterday. Several senior members of the protective agencies, including acting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams and acting Chief Fire Officer Naya Rampersad were also in attendance.
Griffith, former national security adviser to the Prime Minister, was appointed as part of the Cabinet reshuffle last Thursday. George now heads the Ministry of Justice. While addressing the meeting, Griffith repeatedly praised members of the protective agencies, describing them as world-class and "second to none.""What we need now is to provide them with the administrative and logistical support that they require to truly be T&T's finest and for them to go ahead and provide the citizens with their right to safety and security," Griffith said. Griffith firmly said he would not support any move to politicise the agencies that fall under his ministry."I have no intention for government officials and politicians to dictate the pace. I have seen it too often. I was in the military and I felt it. This must not take place. The law enforcement agencies know what is required of them," Griffith said.
He will focus mainly on crime prevention during his tenure, he said."I intend not to spend too much time dealing with the social aspects."I am not saying that it is not important. I expect to spend a lot more time dealing with crime prevention measures," Griffith said. He also said he will be joining members of the protective services on anti-crime exercises."You will see less of me in a suit. I intend to be putting back on my combat boots. What I want to do is be on the ground to see what are the requirements of the T&T Police Service and Defence Force," Griffith said.