Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 3rd 2013 Contents A9
Tuesday, September 3, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
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This year's joint Power Soca Monarch and Road March King, Austin "Super Blue" Lyons, performs during
the Woodbrook Playboyz Independence Street Fest, Tragarete Road, Port-of-Spain, on Sunday night.
PHOTO: ABRAHAM DIAZ
The third round of crime talks
between the Government and the
Opposition is carded for Thursday
at 3.30 pm, Opposition Whip Mar-
lene McDonald said yesterday.
Asked whether the Opposition
would be pushing for Government to
put into effect some of the ideas which
have been raised, McDonald said that
was one of the aspects on which to
She said the discussions were pro-
gressing but was reluctant to give fur-
"Let us talk. When we finish we
will let you all know but we have been
progressing," McDonald added.
Government and Opposition mem-
bers are expected to meet at Tower
D of the International Waterfront
Centre, Wrightson Road, Port-of-
The crime talks started at the Office
of the Prime Minister, St Clair, two
Both parties made recommenda-
tions on several anti-crime initiatives,
such as the resumption of hangings,
a new criminal offence of illegal home
invasion, a new system to select a
police commissioner, urban renewal
in areas at the centre of crime, a new
parliamentary standing committee on
crime and implementation of the Sel-
wyn Ryan report. Senator Fitzgerald
Hinds said yesterday he would be
attending Thursday s talks again but
said the Opposition could only offer
help and suggestions but it was up
to the Government to implement the
Asked what was the specific pur-
pose of Thursday s meeting, Hinds
said it was a continuation of previous
talks and also an opportunity to clear
up outstanding issues.
He added: "At the first meeting we
agreed on an agenda. The second
meeting we outlined items of the
agenda, some we settled, while some
the Government went away to con-
"This Thursday s talks, they (gov-
ernment) will come back to tell us
what they considered and we will
have further discussions," Hinds said.
Though describing the talks as hav-
ing made "great progress" Hinds said
the Opposition made it clear it was
not prepared to engage in any "long,
watery, drawn-out discussion.
"We have offered to help and we
have given the Government our assur-
ance that once they want our support
on the issue of crime, we will offer
our recommendations," Hinds said.
Contacted yesterday, national secu-
rity adviser to Prime Minister Kamla
Persad-Bissessar, Gary Griffith, said
it was difficult to give a timeframe
for when recommendations would be
carried out as Government was still
"sifting through the pros and cons."
"Recommendations have been
made on both sides and talks are still
taking place, so at this time it is dif-
ficult to say for certain about imple-
mentation," he added.
Government hopes to have a
pilot project for the proposed
Rapid Response Unit implemented
later this year or early next year.
So said national security adviser
to Prime Minister Kamla Persad-
Bissessar, Gary Griffith, yesterday.
He met with Deputy Police
Commissioner Mervyn Richardson
for several hours yesterday to firm
up plans for the unit.
In giving an example of how the
unit would operate Griffith said
T&T would be divided into specific
regions and patrols vehicles would
be assigned to those areas on a 24-
With a Global Positioning Sys-
tem (GPS), he said, the movement
of each vehicle would be monitored.
Systems also would be put into
place to have telephone calls mon-
itored and traced. Some 300 law
enforcement officers from various
arms of the security forces would
be assigned to the unit, Griffith
"We do not want to say at this
time from what specific areas the
officers will be, for example
whether they will only be from the
Police Service," he said.
On August 22, after hosting a
joint meeting between Government
and Opposition members to
address the crime problem, Per-
sad-Bissessar said the unit would
enable the police to be on patrol
throughout the length and breadth
of the country but would focus on
most crime-prone areas.
That was not the first time the
Prime Minister had announced the
unit. Last May, she announced the
implemetation of the unit at a press
Persad-Bissessar said to staff the
unit and to assist with increasing
manpower in the Police Service a
specialised training programme for
Special Reserve Police officers was
initiated last June.
The first batch of officers from
the programme are expected to
graduate this month.
Griffith said the Rapid Response
Unit was something "totally new"
to T&T and within ten minutes of
a distress call, action would be
Govt, Opposition in more
crime talks Thursday
PM: Rapid Response Unit by next year
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