Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 8th 2013 Contents A police motorcyclist rides alongside this unidentified man as he pushes a shopping trolley filled with bottles and cans for recycling on
High Street, San Fernando, yesterday, oblivious to the obstruction and danger he poses to drivers. PHOTO: RISHI RAGOONATH
CHECKING A DANGER
Wednesday, May 8, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
It s the Opposition PNM s view that
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, as
head of the National Security Council, made
a bad move in announcing to the criminal
element the method by which law enforce-
ment agencies would intercept cellphone
signals from prisons.
PNM PRO Faris Al-Rawi said so yesterday
after Persad-Bissessar s statement on Monday
night on the "jammers and grabbers" tech-
nique, whereby law enforcement would use
mobile phone signal "jammers" on phone
calls coming from inside jails. This involved
technology which would find phones and
block calls and text messages from unap-
proved numbers in jails, she said.
Al-Rawi said: "The PNM notes with
amazement the Prime Minister s announce-
ment to the population of the national secu-
rity forces ability to block cellphones from
the prisons and to grab text messages ema-
nating from in there.
"We stand amazed the head of the National
Security Council could be foolish enough to
announce to the criminal element the exact
method by which law enforcement agencies
would intercept valuable and critical evidence
capable of being garnered and used in pros-
ecution and convictions under various pieces
of legislation, including the Anti-Gang Act.
"We are convinced the Prime Minister
either enjoys the worst form of advice or is
capable of making spectacular mistake after
mistake in such quick succession."
He said the Prime Minister "continued
dismantling national security mechanisms
and emboldening the criminal elements
through demonstrating the worst form of
ineptitude in national security T&T has ever
Al-Rawi said one might have thought it
far more important to use information gath-
ered from cellphone transmission quietly
and discreetly to improve the detection and
conviction rate in T&T "which stands at an
all-time low now.
Asked how the PNM had dealt with the
situation after former national security min-
ister Martin Joseph had confirmed cellphones
were being used in prisons, Al-Rawi said the
PNM had engaged in minimal disclosure and
preferred a platform to instill fear into crim-
inals by keeping them in the dark and worried
over the true capabilities of the national
--- Gail Alexander
President of the Prisons Officers Asso-
ciation Ceron Richards says the latest in
technology is needed to fight crime.
He also agreed with Prime Minister
Kamla Persad-Bissessar s statement at
the UNC s Monday Night Forum in Gas-
parillo that criminals were using illegal
cellphones in the nation s prisons to co-
ordinate murders and other criminal activ-
The Prime Minister said the National
Security Council had moved to implement
mobile phone signal jammers at the pris-
In a telephone interview yesterday,
Richards said: "That has long been seen
as a problem and has been in the public
domain for years, where there is a link in
the prison system and outside.
"All the more reason why we support
the initiative and hope she (Persad-Bisses-
sar) listens to the cries of prisons officers
and inmates so the Government measures
are necessary to bring about a properly
functioning prisons service that can effec-
tively treat with the protection of the soci-
ety from crime."
Richards said stronger security measures
with the latest in new technology were
needed at the prisons.
He said while the association was grate-
ful for the cellphone jammers, the prisons
"We agree with her. We are elated. We
called for this for the past few years
because there is a proliferation of cell-
phones in the T&T prison system that is
causing a negative on the internal envi-
ronment and external environment as it
relates to crime," he added.
Baby Persia breathing
on own again
Baby Persia Meleigh Lee Foon-Cummings who
contracted pneumonia last weekend is said to be
much better, hospital sources said yesterday.
They said the baby was also taking her intravenous
feeds "well" and was also breathing on her own.
The infant, however, was still being carefully mon-
itored at the Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit (NICU),
Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex, Mt Hope.
She is the fifth-born of T&T s first sextuplets born
to Petra Lee Foon and Kieron Cummings on March
4. Hospital sources said the pneumonia continued
to decrease and every day blood was taken from the
baby to be tested.
Hospital sources also maintained the child, like
her siblings, had been receiving the best care pos-
A few weeks ago, medical sources added, baby
Persia began intravenous feeds and staff were hopeful
she would join her three other siblings who are said
to be doing well at home.
Contacted yesterday, chairman of the North Central
Regional Health Authority (NCRHA) Dr Shehenaz
Mohammed said all babies admitted to the NICU
were considered critical and all were given the best
...Aftercare of sextuplets
The aunt of the country s first sextuplets,
Korette Cummings, has described the aftercare
for the babies as "disappointing."
Cummings said while the family was assured
everything would be put in place to deal with the
babies, the deaths of babies Kaelon Nasir and
Paeton Christopher Lee Foon-Cummings caused
She said the family had been prepared to assist
financially with sending their mother, Petra Lee
Foon, abroad. Both local and overseas specialists
recommended that the sextuplets be delivered
overseas to ensure they got the care they need-
ed.The fifth-born of the sextuplets, Persia Meleigh,
continues to battle pneumonia.
"The minister gave us the assurance that things
would have been put in place with regard to the
aftercare. They wanted the babies to be T&T
"The concern was not about the delivery but
about the aftercare. We were liaising with the
staff relating to the delivery but it was the aftercare
that we were concerned about.
"Honestly, this is where we think things fell
short," Cummings said.
Cummings claimed promises were made but
She added: "As it stands now I would say the
proper aftercare was not given to the babies. We
were told they were supposed to hire international
consultants to review the delivery of the babies.
This was never done. As a matter of fact after
the usual nine days everything just fell down.
"It is a matter where we are trying to staying
calm. We do not want to have to go through any-
Questions are now being asked why the advice
of consultant/head of the Neo-natal Intensive
Care Unit Dr Camanee Lutchman was ignored.
Lutchman said several medical risks were
expected with the birth of the premature babies
after a high-risk multiple pregnancy.
Her recommendation was echoed by Dr Marlon
Timothy, a clinical fellow of the peri-natal and
neo-natal medicine department at the University
PNM hits PM's talk
on prison phones
Al-Rawi: She is dismantling security systems
Prisons officers back Kamla
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