Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 9th 2015 Contents A11
Thursday, July 9, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
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Over the past five years, government has
committed approximately six billion dollars
per year to support initiatives designed to
improve the safety and security of the citizens
of this country.
One such initiative has been the Citizen
Security Programme (CSP), headed by Gregory
Sloane-Seale, and introduced under the aus-
pices of the Ministry of National Security.
Providing some startlingly statistics during
the formal launch of the United Nations Devel-
opment Programme (UNDP) dialogue on CSP,
at the Hyatt Regency, Port-of-Spain on
Wednesday---senior operations specialist at
the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB),
Julien Belgrave praised the CSP which he said
combined the community approach to tackling
violent crime, along with the human-centered
support and traditional crime prevention
methods by the authorities.
He said six years ago when the project was
first approved, T&T had a murder rate of 43
per every 100,000 people, while the rate in
CSP communities was 98 per every 100,000
Belgrave said this figure was almost ten
times higher that what the World Health
Organisation considered epidemic levels.
However, since 2008, the CSP has provided
US$5.5 million and reached approximately
60,000 residents in vulnerable communities
to assist in the reduction of crime and vio-
As of September 2014, CSP communities
registered a 46 per cent reduction in homicides,
and a 31 per cent reduction in shootings and
woundings---in comparison to significantly
smaller reductions nationally of 24 per cent
and 13 per cent, respectively.
Belgrave said these "stunning results" only
sought to underscore the importance of ensur-
ing the CSP s sustainability, which is approach-
ing closure in April 2016, but that the IDB
was looking forward to continue supporting
government in this regard.
National Security Minister Carl Alfonso,
who delivered the feature address, said national
security had been identified as the third pillar
of government s framework for sustainable
He said this meant that T&T would be
transformed into a place where all citizens
would be able to live safely, work, socialise
and do business without hindrance.
Quoting from the 2012 UNDP report which
provided supporting data to show that social
control and community cohesion were sig-
nificant predictors of criminal victimisation
in T&T ---the minister appealed for greater
collaboration among social groups essential
to making communities more resilient to vio-
Adding that the CSP was recently expanded
to include the East Port-of-Spain community,
Alfonso said other initiatives were also being
employed to specifically target groups already
involved in gun-related crime.
Impact on crime reduction promising
IDB to continue Citizen Security Programme
Scores of women turned up out-
side the Office of the Prime Min-
ister (OPM), St Clair, yesterday
seeking book grants to help them
off set costs for their children
The women complained that they
were told to "show up" and their
names will be put on a list for a
However, some of the women said
they have been waiting since last
week Thursday and told to return
every day since.
In an interview, one of the parents,
Alicia Murrel, a mother of three, said
she felt they were treated unfairly.
"I came here from work. See I still
have on my uniform and I came here
after 6 am. So far I been waiting and
at 10 o clock a woman came out and
say that was the last.
"Everybody is frustrated and some
took their day off. All of us are single
mothers who came to get the book
grant," Murrel said.
Another mother of three said they
have been waiting since last week.
She added: "Is poor people out
here. A woman came out angry. It
have no rich people here, only single
"We come here very early and it
have people who used to come here
every year. It have people who don t
have passage who come here today."
"And they want our vote. It is here
we must come. They have the
money, they flying all over every
week," another woman said.
Louise Lane, personnel assistant
to the Prime Minister s office,
returned moments later and took
the names of the women.
She told the women they would
be contacted by another represen-
tative in time.
When questioned, Lane did not
wish to give the amount of the grant
or comment on any questions.
Press secretary to Prime Minister
Francis Joseph said the distribution
of the grants had nothing to do with
"She (Lane) was only facilitating
the Ministry of the People and Social
Development because there is more
room here," he said.
Attempts to contact various
departments at the Ministry of the
People and Social Development
Book grant rush outside PM's office
Scores of women wait outside the Office of the Prime Minister, St Clair, yesterday for book grants. PHOTO: JEFF MAYERS
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