THE criminals are on patrol, the police seem helpless and the population are lambs to the slaughter.
That was the description used by Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union (OWTU) president general Ancel Roget, who also predicted that the murder toll could reach 580 by the end of the year if government failed to block the flow of guns and criminals streaming into the country through its “porous” borders.
He was speaking to reporters during a mobilisation exercise involving a number of trade unions against government’s response to crime and job security, and said the only solution may be a national strike.
“We are getting to the point where it will come necessary for us to shut this entire place down until Dr (Keith) Rowley makes this place safe. We cannot wait until their term of office has completed, because some of us may not be here when that time comes, simply because of the crime situation.
“We will be moving to move those who are not doing their jobs.”
He said murders were increasing at an alarming rate, with 463 in 2016; 494 in 2017; and 121 reported for the first two and a half months of 2018.
“The criminals are on patrol while the police seem helpless, while the government is clueless, while the Minister of National Security has absolutely no idea.
The number one priority of any government in office throughout the world is to provide for the safety and security of all of its citizens.
“You asked for the job. So far you have failed miserably on the job and nobody is safe.
The PNM supporter who feel he love Dr Rowley — the bandit does not care about that.
The PNM supporters who feel he love the PNM – the bandit don’t care about that at all.
He does not ask you if you are a PNM or a UNC and then act. The bandit is bullet first and nothing else after — your life first.”
He said the Prime Minister was ultimately responsible for government’s handling of the crime situation and had to deal with the non-performance of his Minister of National Security and the judicial system.
“When they were in opposition, they were up and down the place saying how Kamla (Persad-Bissessar) have the border porous, how Kamla remove the OPV (offshore patrol vessels), criminals and guns coming in.
“Who are the importers of these guns, these sophisticated weapons that find its way in the hands of the criminals and the murderers?
The shooters are not the importers, those little black boys who are killing themselves and killing everybody else. They do not have the first iota how to import these guns. It is some big man in this country who are the importers of these guns,’ he said.
“And they do that to perpetuate and to protect their drug trade, which drug trade is made easy as a result of the government not locking down the border as a priority.
“We are made like lambs to the slaughter. We are being fed at the merciless hands of the criminals, and we are saying today that enough is enough.”
Roget, whose address was punctuated by shouts of approval from union members, also blasted government’s handling of the unemployment rate, saying more than 10,000 workers had lost their jobs since September 2015.
Afterwards, he and other union members distributed flyers titled “Make the country safe” along High Street, San Fernando, where several brazen daylight robberies have taken place recently.