“WE have not lost the fight against crime,” the Prime Minister declared during a television interview yesterday.
“The fight against crime is a fight that we have to remain engaged because our very lives are involved,” Dr Rowley said, “Nobody in this country is immune to the reckless behaviour of some citizens, many of whom behave like this because they have chosen crime as a way of life.”
The PM vowed, “We will redouble our efforts with respect to national security and national safety issues. We are not going to concede that those who behave like this and endanger the population, are to be left unattended.”
Referring to the shootings on the Chaguaramas boardwalk on Sunday which left three people dead and wounded five, the PM said this shows that amongst the population, roaming the streets, there are “cold-blooded killers.”
He declared this was an “outrageous aspect of behaviour” from those people who chose to live a life of crime and reiterated that “all the resources available” will be used in the fight against crime.
This includes more training of law-enforcement personnel, investing in better equipment and bringing national-security assets back into operation. He said Government will be putting in an order for a new Cape Class vessel for the Coast Guard soon. Six Austal fast patrol boats, which were non-operational under the former People’s Partnership (PP) government, are being brought back into service.
The PM said there was no need for the Soldier Bill to return. as the TT Defence Force is engaged with the police in the fight against crime. The TTDF’s assets are integrated with those of the police service and information-gathering agencies, he added. The PM also said when Parliament resumes, the country will learn about the work being done through the police manpower audit to improve the efficiency of the police service.
The PM said there is no consideration of a state of emergency. On calls to fire National Security Minister Edmund Dillon, Rowley said the PP had had seven national security ministers in its tenure and this had no impact on crime. He dismissed reports which claimed an elite unit was used to recover a cellphone stolen from Adrian Colm Imbert, the son of Finance Minister Colm Imbert.
“I don’t know what elite squad that could be. I’ll gamble and say that is just ole talk.” the PM said, “If they were successful in recovering the phone, by whatever method, I think that is a good thing, and I’m sure that they would have done that before in some situations.”