THE EDITOR: Over the last seven years, the Ministry of National Security has received close to $50 billion in budget allocations. This is an enormous sum of money, but has the country reaped any benefits? Is crime down to barest minimum and manageable levels?
Clearly the ever-spiralling crime rate, especially murders, gang violence and attacks on businesses and home-owners shows that merely throwing billions of dollars at our national-security apparatus won't arrest crime and criminality.
I am not convinced that the real problem is a lack of funding for the various arms of national security, but rather a lack of proper management, a lack of cohesiveness between the various agencies and the lack of effective strategies to deal with crime.
Crime is a business with profit and loss and the criminal elements, for quite some time, have been winning the war they have waged and are waging on us, the citizenry. Just look at the murder rate. Look at the spate of home-invasions, robberies and thefts.
I agree that constant financial support to national security is critical but it is not the only thing that is required if our security forces are to turn the tide against our well-armed criminals.
If we keep throwing money but aren't getting the desired results, this should tell us that the system is not working. The country's national security is spinning top in mud. It's as simple as that.
There is a need for new strategies, perhaps the employing of technology not only to deal with the day-to-day routine of policing but also to get to the criminal networks in order to dismantle them.
In TT, we need all the help we can get, so I welcome the Government and the Opposition deciding to come together to discuss this issue with a view to formulating new strategies. I also fully support the suggestion of other stakeholders being invited to this meeting, especially those stakeholders, for example the business sector, who are directly impacted by crime. Perhaps there is still hope for our nation amidst the dark clouds of crime and lawlessness.