Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 24th 2013 Contents A5
Saturday, August 24, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
From Page A1
"On the question of a rapid response
unit, we have had several attempts at
this measure, dating back to PNM
National Security Minister Howard Chin
Lee's term in office, in which 180 spe-
cial-purpose Vauxhall motor cars were
imported from the UK, with state-of-
the-art hands-free wireless equipment
and onboard computers. These were
introduced by Mr Hilton Guy."
He added that the mention of those
names (Chin Lee and Guy) would give
the public an indication of how far back
policing measures of this kind had been
implemented, yet still the problem of
crime continued to be a major issue.
Turning to the quality and compe-
tency of police work, he said zero detec-
tive work was being done and the fact
that detection rates are not reported
was an indicator of failure.
"Do the work," he said.
"Set up surveillance, trap the gang
leaders so there are charges to bring,
and make the charges stick."
Aboud criticised the police as a "badly
managed service, not managed on the
basis of performance or merit. It does
not reward good work or punish bad
He said while Doma feels that Per-
sad-Bissessar is attempting to make
changes, the proposed initiatives amount
to a rotation of measures that other
administrations had tried with and
"The pressure exists in the system
for (the Government) to improve this
situation," Aboud said in summing up.
"Unfortunately, what the country is
looking for are not initiatives, but
While the Chamber of Commerce
commended Persad-Bissessar and Row-
ley for meeting on a united front to
address crime, it said the initiatives had
been heard before and what was most
important was the implementation of
a tangible framework for these meas-
In a statement sent to the T&T
Guardian yesterday, the chamber said:
"We now commend both the Prime
Minister and the Leader of the Oppo-
sition for finally meeting this week to
discuss crime management measures.
As the Prime Minister said in her
announcement following the meeting
with Dr Keith Rowley: Crime is every-
body's business and we cannot end it
if we put partisan interests ahead of the
good of our country.'
"The chamber believes a meeting
such as this was long overdue and hope
that this step in the right direction does
not just represent a knee-jerk reaction
by both the Government and Opposi-
"However, after review of the meas-
ures announced, it is the chamber's
view that we have heard these initiatives
before---from strengthening the Police
Service and boosting their morale, to
purchase of new police vehicles and
CCTV cameras, to social interventions,
and finally redevelopment and revital-
isation of the east Port-of-Spain area."
The chamber, in calling for the tan-
gible framework, said it must be done
with set goals and key performance
indicators so the public is aware, once
implemented, of the measures' success.
It added that it looked forward to
hearing more on the leadership's plan
for implementation, with national status
updates as to the progress of the crime-
In outgoing Port-of-Spain mayor
Louis Lee Sing's view, every crime ini-
tiative developed over the last 30 years
failed to address the issues of human
Lee Sing, in a brief phone interview
with the T&T Guardian, said he was
not aware, at the time of the call, of
the initiatives announced by Persad-
When he was told what they were,
Lee Sing said many of the initiatives,
over the years, have not addressed the
issues of the people in the areas he
described as oppressed and neglected.
Unemployment in areas such as east
Port-of-Spain could possibly stand at
55 per cent, he said, and crime reduction
required a modality of economic sus-
tainability for those involved. One of
the problems faced by many who com-
mit crime, he said, is that they are not
gainfully employed and he called again
for the Government to bring in com-
pulsory national service.
Asked about comments from the
public that residents should be respon-
sible and obtain their own jobs and
education, Lee Sing said while he is not
saying residents should not get up and
get, part of the Government's respon-
sibility is to assist the most vulnerable.
He said greater interaction between
the community and police was needed.
A different formula also needed to be
worked out as to how to address crime,
and Lee Sing said he was willing to sit
down with the Government and others
to work it out.
MP for Laventille West Nileung
Hypolite, in a phone interview, shared
similar views to Lee Sing.
While saying that the PNM was of
the view that crime should not be made
a political issue and that he is in full
support of Rowley's meeting with Per-
sad-Bissessar, he said had the current
administration continued with initiatives
implemented under the PNM admin-
istration, crime would have been much
The previous government, he said,
developed a comprehensive plan for
east Port-of-Spain which is currently
lodged in the Ministry of National Secu-
rity and which was formulated after
meetings with 19 communities within
The police need to take a proactive
approach and understand that they are
dealing with human beings. Not every-
one from Laventille is a criminal, he
said, and people in east Port-of-Spain
had the potential to become police offi-
cers, nurses, lawyers or clerks.
While saying that the onus is on the
individual to achieve and that govern-
ments cannot change people who are
unwilling to change, he said the Gov-
ernment was responsible for providing
options for people who wanted to do
so and to have programme and policies
in place so that citizens can access them.
The St Ann s valley echoed with
gunfire yesterday morning as "Big
Brent" Miller was shot in broad
daylight on the main road, not far
from the Diplomatic Centre and
the Prime Minister s official res-
Miller, 38, of Ariapita Road, and
another man were in a car on the
St Ann's Road near the Chinese
Association when gunmen opened
fire on them.
A report said around 10.30 am,
Miller, a former murder accused,
was driving his Navara van out of
St Ann's when a silver Almera
pulled up in front of it, so that he
had to stop.
Two men got out of the car,
dressed in what were described as
police uniforms with the words
"police" on their chest, and started
Miller was shot three times in
the chest, lower back and left arm.
He was taken to the Port-of-Spain
General Hospital for emergency
treatment and is reported to be in
a serious condition.
The man who was in the van
with him was not badly hurt, but
was treated for minor cuts caused
by shattered glass.
The gunmen sped away.
Residents who heard the shoot-
ing called the police, who blocked
the road and diverted traffic head-
ing out of the valley over Lady
The gunmen's car was later
found abandoned nearby at Brae-
mar Road in Cascade. Soon after,
a Chinese-made rifle with 30
rounds of 7.62 ammunition and a
nine-millimetre gun were also dis-
covered in bushes near Braemar
Police impounded the Almera
and Miller's truck, which were
checked by the Crime Scene Unit.
At a press conference hours later
at Police Administration Building,
St Vincent Street, Port-of-Spain,
Senior Supt Stephen Ramsubhag
said police were on a "focus" patrol
nearby and heard the gunshots.
Members of the Port-of-Spain
Divisional Operations Unit, under
ASP Kenrick Edwards, ASP
Stephen Pustan and Sgt Anselm
Knotts, were in the area, he said.
ASP Ajith Persad is leading the
"What is commendable is that
the officers were on focus patrols
and responded immediately," Ram-
"We are asking members of the
public, those who are involved in
criminal activity, to change their
ways. We want them to be part of
Ramsubhag encouraged mem-
bers of the public to call 555 or
Crime Stoppers to help stop the
surge in crime.
"We are asking parents, grand-
parents, brothers, sisters, guardians
to become role models and work
with the education system to
engender a high record of honesty
and integrity for their fellow men.
We are working collectively to target
east Port-of-Spain, Sea Lots, John
John, Laventille, Beetham, Cayacoo,
Canada, Africa," he said.
Ramsubhag said there must be
a comprehensive approach to stop
crime, noting this would involve
assistance from parents, churches,
NGOs and schools.
Daylight hit attempt near PM's home...
'Big Brent' Miller
Senior Supt Stephen Ramsubhag, centre, congratulates Sgt Anslem Knott at yesterday's press conference.
PHOTO: NICOLE DRAYTON
A San Fernando businessman
and his employee spent a nerve-
wracking four hours trapped in
their office yesterday, after ban-
dits threatened to "execute" them
if they contacted the police.
Police said around 11 am, Razan
Hosein, 57, the owner of Sharon's
General Contractors Enterprises,
was at the Cocoyea Village business
place when two men walked in,
pretending to be customers.
After surveying the store for a
few minutes, one of the men took
out a gun, ordered Hosein and
clerk Sherrifa Mohammed, 18, into
an office and locked the door.
The men held their victims at
gunpoint and robbed them of
$1,500 which was locked in the
vault and $150 which Mohammed
had in her possession.
The gunmen warned Hosein
that if they saw any police, they
would return and kill them both.
They then locked the office door
and the entrance to the building
Around 3 pm, Hosein and
Mohammed freed themselves and
called the police. Under Snr Supt
Cecil Santana, police searched the
area, but up to late yesterday no
suspects had been held.
Police said Hosein did not con-
tact them sooner because he was
afraid the gunmen would make
good on their promise. (Kevon
Businessman, worker kept 'hostage' by bandits
Old crime plans won't
fix current issues
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