ON THE backs of 300-plus murders recorded this year so far, government will today launch its latest anti-crime initiative, the National Crime Prevention Programme (NCPP).
The NCPP’s launch takes place at the Hilton Trinidad from 10 am. The Prime Minister is scheduled to deliver the feature address. Other speakers at the event include National Security Minister Edmund Dillon and parliamentary secretary in the National Security Ministry, Glenda Jennings-Smith.
Contacted about the NCPP, Opposition Oropouche East MP Dr Roodal Moonilal slammed it as “a complete and utter waste of time.” Moonilal said the PM “should throw in the towel and declare his innings.” He added the NCPP was a case of “too little, too late” to deal with crime in TT.
Elements of the NCPP were first mentioned by Dr Rowley at a People’s National Movement convention at the Queens Park Savannah in October 2016. In his 2018 Budget presentation in the House of Representatives on October 2, 2017, Finance Minister Colm Imbert identified the NCPP as one of the initiatives which Government will use to address crime and criminality in TT.
“This programme will constitute a holistic approach to crime fighting. It will impact crime prevention through community empowerment which is a key factor to returning safety and security to the national community,” Imbert said then.
“It will employ resources in law enforcement, government ministries and communities across TT.
“It is clear that any approach to deal with crime and violence must include the broad spectrum of prediction, deterrence, detection, prosecution and rehabilitation.” Last November, Dillon said the NCCP would involve units from the 14 municipal corporations including Tobago, the Police Service, other arms of national security and ministries such as Public Utilities, Social Development and Health which will provide counselling, mediation and assist in the repair of homes. He said the programme will be under an inter-ministerial committee headed by his ministry with participation from the Office of the Prime Minister.
Dillon said a team is formulating policies and exploring ideas on how the initiative will be executed. He said all stakeholders are eager to have the programme launched. He assured communities under siege they will see a whole new approach in reclaiming the country from the hands of criminals. At a news conference on July 11, Dillon promised a greater crime fight through increased patrols from the TT Police Service, including joint exercises with the TT Defence Force, over the July/August period at popular gathering spots, including shopping malls and the Chaguaramas Boardwalk. A shooting incident at the boardwalk earlier this month, left three people dead.
On July 12 at the post-Cabinet news conference at the Diplomatic Centre in St Ann’s, the PM said he has no problem supporting random stop and search operations by law enforcement officers to help reduce crime in TT. He reiterated that Government has no plans to implement a state of emergency to deal with crime and capital punishment remains part of the law in TT.
The PM also remained hopeful that a permanent commissioner of police (CoP) would be appointed. The House of Representatives sits on Friday to debate a motion to approve the nomination of Acting CoP Stephen Williams to be appointed CoP.