NATIONAL Security Minister Stuart Young said many of the former People’s Partnership’s (PP) anti-crime measures were tainted by corruption, replying to an Opposition motion critical of the Government in the Senate on Tuesday.
He lamented that under the PP some $400 million was spent on the controversial LifeSport, one of whose supervisors is now on trial for murder.
Young said under the PP, hundreds of CCTV cameras were rented for $11,000-14,000 each per month, costing taxpayers hundreds of millions per year. He said on taking office he had refused to renew those contracts but had sought fresh requests for proposals (RFP). Young claimed several attempts were made to thwart his RFP process, with him having to write to Police Commissioner Gary Griffith and ask how was it possible for files to vanish from his ministry.
Young queried the $500 million cost of building the National Operations Centre, hundreds of millions spent to buy helicopters, and the $300 million Eastern Correctional Rehabilitation Centre with its $80 million fence.
Of his initiatives, Young boasted of an upgrade to the country’s CCTV system to include facial recognition, plus the “complete success” of demonetisation.
Opposition Senator Sean Sobers lamented that Young had used only his last 4-5 minutes to state his anti-crime plans.
“The minister spent 36 minutes spewing political propaganda against the UNC,” Sobers said. “That is indicative of a Government failing.”
He accused Young of a lot of finger-pointing instead of comforting citizens. Sobers alleged that despite Government promises, a border security system known as PISCES is not in operation at Piarco Airport to track inbound airline passengers at this time of a novel coronavirus outbreak. Sobers said recently a local government corporation had been found to have awarded construction contracts to gangsters, the funds which he said would not be used to buy milk and pampers but firearms which he dubbed weapons of mass destruction.