Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 2nd 2013 Contents A8
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Monday, September 2, 2013
Opposition senator Fitzgerald
Hinds says the Government needs
to urgently reintroduce an inde-
pendent intelligence-gathering unit
to do the kind of work which the
Special Anti-crime Unit of T&T
(Sautt) was doing.
He said it could be called Sautt,
"sort out" or any other name they
wished, but it is urgently needed if
the country is to address the spiralling
murders and gang-related violence.
The People's Partnership and the
People's National Movement (PNM)
are now collaborating on a plan of
action to combat crime in the wake
of a series of murders in east Port-
of-Spain in recent weeks.
In a phone interview with the T&T
Guardian, Hinds said the dismantling
of the Sautt had left a gap in the
country's crime-fighting efforts
which we were now seeing the effects
"We envisage a specialised entity,
separate and apart from the police
service," Hinds said.
Hinds had made similar comments
after he represented the PNM at last
week's second round of crime talks
with the PP, saying that among ini-
tiatives that could be done immedi-
ately is the establishment of a special
agency for information-gathering.
Hinds said both the police and the
Defence Force already possess their
own specialised intelligence-gather-
ing agencies, but the Opposition is
again proposing an independent, spe-
cialised and separate entity akin to
"The work the police are engaged
in is so diffuse and multifaceted that
it needs to itself be supported and
driven by a separate and specialised
intelligence-gathering agency," Hinds
"We have said a thousand times
Sautt did exactly that, because Sautt
specialised in dealing with gang-land
activity, to great effect."
Hinds said instead of rectifying
Sautt's illegality and ironing out the
kinks after in came into power in
2010, the Government had disman-
tled it, "thereby denying the Police
Service of a significant intelligence
platform on which to operate."
Asked about the Government's
criticism of Sautt, Hinds said, "In
respect of these matters, they are
dumb, blind, deaf, unwashed and
clearly don't have a clue. All they
have done is to carry out in govern-
ment their project of political vin-
dictiveness and political threats
against Sautt which were based on
the ignorance before they came to
"And they did so with the help of
a few friends in the national security
family, who knew better but who
suffered from professional and polit-
ical jealousy," he said.
Teenager Patrice Seerattan and
her family spent yesterday attend-
ing to repairs on their home at
Jerningham Junction, Cunupia.
The Seerattans' home was one
of 15 partially damaged when a
funnel cloud tore through the com-
munity on Friday before wreaking
havoc in other parts of Central
Poorandaye Seerattan, 49, the
matriarch of the household, spent
the morning cooking a meal of
curried chicken and rice, minus
the dhal side dish, in a kitchen
covered by a yellow tarpaulin.
The family's home was soaked
on Friday and most of their food
items went bad. The family spent
Saturday night without electricity
and the younger Seerattan, 17,
noted yesterday that they were
uneasy over the weekend as there
were sporadic showers on Friday
and Saturday after the funnel cloud
did the initial damage.
The younger Seerattan said the
family was grateful for all the help
they received from community
members and government officials.
She said neighbours assisted them
in partially repairing their roof.
The Ministry of the People and
Social Development, Seerattan said,
gave them a temporary food card
which they used to purchase gro-
ceries and kerosene for the week-
end. The family also got tarpaulins
and two mattresses from the
Chairman of the National Com-
mission for Self Help (NCSH),
Surujdeo Mangaroo, visited the
affected communities yesterday.
He said field officers had made
assessments on Saturday and 14
applications were being processed
by NCSH staff. He said grants of
up to $15,000 would be given out
to affected residents by tomorrow.
Mangaroo said since October
some $40 million in grants had
been distributed by the NCSH. He
said from this figure, $6 million
had gone to disaster victims.
Teenager Patrice Seerattan sits on her couch, which was without cushions because they are wet, in her
makeshift living room yesterday. The family used a tarpaulin as a temporary roof after a funnel cloud blew
off their roof on Friday. PHOTO: SHASTRI BOODAN
Relief slowly but surely for
Central weather victims
SAUTT-type unit needed once more
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