Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 31st 2017 Contents news A15
Friday, March 31, 2017 guardian.co.tt
More than 175 people have been
arrested in the last three months,
while 1,000 had been arrested
between the last year and now,
National Security Minister Ed-
mund Dillon has said.
Dillon gave the figures during
Tuesday's debate in the Senate.
This focused on an Opposition mo-
tion calling for Government to take
immediate action on T&T's unac-
ceptable crime levels.
Dillon said while detection capa-
bility is low, it is being rebuilt.
Apart from speaking about the
situation in gang war -torn Enter-
prise, Dillon blamed the former PP
administration' for " inaction" and
for dismantling systems which ex-
isted during the past PNM's time.
Dillon said he'd noted the Oppo-
sition's claims that crime rose when
the PNM was in power. But he said
when the UNC was in Opposition,
crime also rose.
Detailing latest developments in
various crime-fighting initiatives,
Dillon said a provider is being ob-
tained for electronic magnetic brace-
lets to monitor culprits.
He said speed guns are having a
positive effect on drivers and more
devices are being obtained . Radio
frequency licence plates which are
also expected soon will track crim-
inals' movements on roads.
Video conferencing systems for
cases is 78 per cent completed. He
said this initiative will be a "game
"We feel our initiatives will re-
dound to reduce crime, we won't
bend or fail in our responsibility.
It's our responsibility and we'll do
all required," he added.
However, Dillon said Government
couldn't use the anti-gang legislation
to arrest people and Opposition input
was needed to rectify this.
He said he was aware a Defence
Force report has been completed on
the recent incident of two children
posing with high- powered weapons.
But he said the probe was an internal
Defence Force matter and the report
remained a matter of security for the
Economist: One per cent of
labour force killed since 2005
Calculating the economic cost
of crime, particularly homicides
in the country, economist Dr
Roger Hosein said since 2005,
one per cent of the labour force
has been killed.
Addressing the San Fernando Busi-
ness Association dinner at Canton
Palace Restaurant, San Fernando,
Hosein responded to statements
from its president, Daphne Bartlett,
about the effect crime was having on
Bartlett said business in the city
was so bad that some owners had
suggested that they do away with
"Many say we don't need to open
on a Saturday because business is so
slow, but we have to do something
to bring back shopping in the city."
Hosein, who also operates a busi-
ness in Gasparillo, said, "That is a
very serious statement coming from
the business community which is the
engine for growth in any society."
The economist said novel ways
had to be found to help boost the
non-energy sector and reduce the
burden on the private sector.
"The economy is stagnant since
2007 and the growth rate has been
negative for the last three years.
The is no systematic plan in terms
of where we are going to find growth
in the next three years, no clear cut
unambiguous statement on where
growth is going to come, especially
in the non-energy sector."
In addition to the poor economy,
Bartlett attributed the spate of crime
as well as absence of parking as the
main contributors to the decline in
"Crime is a big problem, people are
not leaving their homes as they used
to and they no longer participate in
businesses at night. That is grinding
things to a halt. And I would like to
ask the Minister of National Securi-
ty, the Prime Minister, to give us an
explanation," she told the audience
which included San Fernando may-
or Junia Regrello and deputy mayor
Vidya Mungal Bissessar, who is also
Hosein agreed that there was an
urgent need to improve the crime sit-
uation, as it had become an obstacle
He chastised governments who
would have served the country be-
tween 1999 to 2016, describing them
as terrible parents who frittered away
$310 billion earned in economic rents
on "big parties." He said that kind of
money should have removed TT from
poverty and temporary make work
programmes on which the money
He said had that surplus of labour
in the make work programmes been
channelled into the manufacturing
or other sectors where there was a
shortage, T&T would not be in the
serious condition it has found itself.
Expanding on the parking con-
cerns, Bartlett urged Regrello to
build a multi storey car park on lands
the city owns on Penitence Street to
replace the Chancery Lane Car Park
which was first converted into an
administrative complex under the
Patrick Manning administration, and
later, under the Kamla Persad-Bis-
sessar administration, the building
was transformed into the San Fer-
nando Teaching Hospital.
San Fernando Mayor Junia Regrello,left, with Daphne Bartlett, centre, President of the San Fernando Business
Association and Economist Dr Roger Hosein during a meeting hosted by the association at Canton Palace
Restaurant, San Fernando, last weekend. PHOTO: TONY HOWELL
Pupils of Eastern Girl's Government School school show off their decorated door which won first place in the school's Easter Door Competition on
Wednesday. In photo from left is Nicola Collins, Shineka Walters, Alicia James and Fleury De Bellotte with their teacher Eva Prime.
PHOTO COURTESY KERWIN PIERRE
DOOR TO SUCCESS
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