Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 18th 2013 Contents A14
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Wednesday, December 18, 2013
(8.00 a.m to 4.00 p.m)
(8.00 a.m to 4.00 p.m) 1218037
National Security Minister Gary
Griffith on Monday met with three
Opposition MPs to gather first-hand
information about the security woes
in their communities.
In a telephone interview Griffith said
he first met with St Joseph MP Terrence
Deyalsingh and later with Arouca/Mal-
oney MP Alicia Hospedales and MP for
Laventille West Nileung Hypolite.
He said he intended to meet with all
MPs to hear concerns and come up
with a holistic, well-thought out plan
to combat crime.
Describing his talks with Deyalsingh
as cordial, Griffith said a primary con-
cern raised by the St Joseph MP was
the delay in the construction of a new
In May 2010, on the eve of the general
election, then minister of National Secu-
rity Martin Joseph turned the sod for
the construction of a new station. It
was expected to be a state-of-the-art
facility, comprising 237 square metres
with the capacity to accommodate more
than 100 officers and with parking for
36 vehicles at the existing site, off the
Priority Bus Route and Eastern Main
Road, St Joseph.
However, the plans were put on hold
when the People s Partnership Gov-
ernment came into power on May 24,
Saying he would do all in his power
to get the construction started as quickly
as possible Griffith added: "I know this
is an important matter and I will do
my best to speed up the process.
Police officers have since been
assigned to a temporary facility along
Abercromby Street, St Joseph which
has been described as inadequate. Sev-
eral wrecks and other vehicles impound-
ed by the officers usually prohibit traffic
along the main entrance and exit route
for Maracas/St Joseph residents.
"Mr Deyalsingh also brought up other
national security issues which cannot
be publicly discussed," said Griffith.
He said his talks with Hospedales
and Hypolite also focused on national
The construction of a new police sta-
tion for Carenage was also recently
raised with Griffith by Opposition
Leader Dr Keith Rowley.
"Right now we are renting a building
to house the Carenage Police Station
and that is another matter I am looking
at. Dr Rowley has also expressed that
concern to me," Griffith said.
On criticisms he needed to do more
and talk less, Griffith shot back at his
detractors by saying he would not
engage in wild guesses or quick fixes.
"As much as I am aware that the
public demands swift action, I have no
intention in coming up with wild guess-
es because for far too long this is what
has been taking place.
"We have already beefed up patrols
and the mere presence of more police
officers will raise the public s confidence
but we are also working on several long-
term initiatives," Griffith added.
Contacted on the initiative yesterday,
Hypolite applauded Griffith saying it
was a step in the right direction.
"I am quite satisfied with Minister
Griffith holding discussions with all the
MPs and whatever initiative is needed
in the reduction of crime we will lend
our support," Hypolite said.
Saying there were "many good ideas"
which came out of the meeting Hypolite
said it was only fair to give Griffith time
to discuss the issues with his Cabinet
colleagues and the National Security
Council led by Prime Minister Kamla
Persad-Bissessar so the process of
implementation could begin.
"Part of the plans to reduce crime
in east Port-of-Spain looked at some
of the legislation and enforcement. We
need to look at it from a holistic point
which also include detection," Hypolite
Griffith, PNM MPs
hold crime talks
While United National Congress
(UNC) deputy leader Suruj Rambachan
welcomes proposals to cut MPs speaking
time in Parliament from 75 minutes, he
feels the allotted time should be 45 min-
utes instead of 40 minutes as being sug-
Rambachan had commented last week
on the proposal contained in the report
of the Standing Orders committee deliv-
ered in Parliament last week.
This proposes cutting the 75-minute
speaking time of Lower House MPs to 40
minutes---30 plus ten more minutes.
Rambachan, reiterating yesterday, said,
"Generally I welcome cutting speaking
time---people will have to be more succinct
and precise in terms of what they said.
There has been tendency to verbosity.
"But instead of the proposal to have
30 minutes plus ten, I believe it should
be 30 minutes plus 15 to make it a total
of at least 45 minutes.
"Not all debates can be presented in
30 to 40 minutes, some are more complex
than others and sometimes in debate you
have to respond to what people say or to
introduce a new point,"
Rambachan added the situation should
encourage MPs to have wider mobilisation
and consultation with their constituents.
He said the Standing Orders commit-
tee s report, after being studied by MPs,
would have to be debated by the Parlia-
ment and members would have to vote
Rambachan said he was unsure when
it would be debated on the parliamentary
agenda. Asked if the changes would be
implemented before the end of the Gov-
ernment s term in 2015, he said the Peo-
ple s Partnership was committed to pro-
gressive change and he hoped it would
be.People s National Movement MPs were
unavailable for comment.
Extend MPs' speaking
time to 45 minutes---Suruj
Chief Secretary Orville London dance with a guest during the Tobago House of Assembly lunch for over
300 senior citizens at the Magdalena Grand Beach Resort in Lowlands, Tobago on Monday.
PHOTO COURTESY: INFO DEPT/THA
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