The prime minister, minister of national security and commissioner of police must break their silence on the issue of crime in Trinidad and Tobago and tell the nation what they are doing and what they intend to do to bring the situation under control.
The New Year has already seen 17 homicides in under ten days, most of which involve the use of guns. There has also been an increase in the number of robberies, some of which have resulted in persons being killed. These incidents have not been limited to any particular geographic area but are spread across the country, and not all of them can be classified as gang or drug related.
The issue of crime was one of the People’s National Movement’s (PNM) campaign platform issues and therefore it is not acceptable for the government, although only four months in office, to be behaving as though it does not have a plan or that it has no intelligence or information on the crime situation.
National security and public safety is also one of the pillars of the social contract between the government and the citizen. It is the duty of all governments to protect their citizens and to provide a safe environment. Public safety is also crucial to supporting a healthy environment for business, investment and economic activity.
The Independent Liberal Party (ILP), like most citizens, has been patient in allowing the government to settle into office and to complete its analysis of the various sectors, but the Rowley administration must realize that they cannot be on “honeymoon” forever, and it is about time that they wake up and start dealing with the serious issues that are affecting the lives of citizens.
The fact that there is an increase in the frequency of reports of serious crimes, a dramatic upsurge in homicides and armed attacks on citizens, and even a spiralling of the incidence of serious and fatal motor vehicle accidents due to dangerous driving, is a signal that the government and supporting agencies are failing in their responsibility to address public safety.
On behalf of the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago, the ILP calls on the prime minister, the minister of national security and the commissioner of police to stop being silent and to stop behaving as though the crime problem either does not exist or will cease to exist if they do not talk about it. They must tell the nation what plans they have for attacking the crime situation and how the population can assist, and they must start showing some positive results.
Independent Liberal Party