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Thursday 23 May 2019
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Scratch-bomb ban in Parliament soon

Stuart Young
Stuart Young

STUART Young has begun the process to ban scratch bombs and he expects an order to go to Parliament “within weeks”, he told last Thursday’s post-Cabinet media briefing at the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann’s.

The Minister of National Security said his ministry and the Office of the Attorney General are liaising to draft the measures to enact Cabinet’s decision.

“I’m utilising Section 37 of the Explosives Act.” The act empowers the Minister of National Security, by legal order, to ban the import and sale of scratch bombs

“I have already started that process at the Ministry of National Security and asked that the necessary order be drafted along with the Attorney General’s Office.”

“When that order is completed and drafted and approved by Cabinet, we will then take it – I’m not quite sure the process – through Parliament. But we will take it through that process, and I have asked it be done as a matter of priority.

“We want to complete that process within the next couple of weeks.”

Young said part of the process is to identify exactly what explosives will be banned by import and sale. “I can say at this stage, I intend to propose to Cabinet that we go as extensively as possible.

In Trinidad we use the term ‘scratch bombs’ but since I have said this (proposed ban) the number of people who have messaged and written to identify the various items for sale and purchase in Trinidad...We intend to capture as much as as possible.”

Young said he has never personally bought any such item. He said the Explosives Act can ban the import of scratch bombs which has not yet been done, while the Summary Offences Act, in its present form, can ban their discharge.

He vowed that as a lawmaker he will use the laws to protect the people of TT.“I then expect the Police Service to enforce the law and I have no reason to doubt they will in fact enforce that new law once it is passed.” Newsday asked if the order has to go to Parliament for debate or will be ratified just by a stroke of the ministerial pen.

Young replied, “That’s what I’ve also asked for. I’ve looked at the section 37 (of the Explosives Act) myself. I’ve asked for the CPC (Chief Parliamentary Counsel) Department to advise on that, as you say, whether it is just a ministerial order or a type of order that needs to be made pursuant to legislation.”

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