The Ministry of National Security has completed a national security policy for the period 2018 to 2023 and “has prepared” it for submission to the National Security Council even as Minister of National Security Edmund Dillon has declared “war on criminals” in Trinidad and Tobago.
The ministry is also in the final stages of preparing a ministry’s strategic plan for 2018 to 2023. Once completed it will be submitted to Cabinet for approval.
There were also a number of “game changers” being put in place in collaboration with international partners within the fiscal year, Dillon told the House of Representatives yesterday during the budget debate.
One of the game changers include the operationalising of the Personal Identification Secure Comparison and Evaluation System (PISCES) agreement signed between the US and TT governments in April this year. The agreement provides for the establishment of a state-of-the-art border control system that documents the arrival and departure of international travelers at airports and seaports in TT.
The high levels of criminality is affecting not only TT but the entire region including St Kitts and Nevis, Barbados and Antigua, Dillon said, noting that Jamaica has recorded 900 murders for the year.
With a world characterised by transnational crime including drugs, guns, ammunition, kidnapping, and terrorism, he said TT is no different and there is no “quick fix” for the problems of criminality.
“We have reached a stage where we have to declare war on criminals in Trinidad and Tobago,” he said.
The criminal elements going against society, he said, “have weapons of war. We have seen them holding rifles, showing their faces. Police have been able to retrieve some of them.”
As such, he said, “We have to declare war on these miscreants.”
On the 2018 to 2023 national security policy, Dillon said, it is a statement of principles that establishes a national understanding of the risks, threats, challenges of the security of the State and the public’s personal safety.
Its purpose is to identify TT’s national strategic priorities and goals, and to prescribe how resources can best be allocated especially in these trying economic times.
The policy document like the ministry’s 2018 to 2023 strategic plan, Dillon said, is anchored in Government’s Vision 2030 governance pillar.
The strategic plan, he said, was subscribed to by every division of the ministry.
First and foremost, he said, its main focus was on crime prevention and crime reduction, stakeholder participation and partnership, governance, capacity and capability resource optimisation among others.
The strategic plan, which is being finalised for submission to Cabinet before the end of the year, he said, involves a 24-month operational plan to be implemented from next year.
Security agencies under the aegis of the ministry like the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service, Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force, Trinidad and Tobago Prison Service and others, he said, will also be developing their strategic plans in keeping with the national security policy. This is even as they already have their plans in place.