Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 12th 2014 Contents A5
January 12, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
Sports Minister Anil Roberts says
he is unsure of contesting the
D Abadie/O Meara seat for the 2015
However, Roberts said if Prime Min-
ister Kamla Persad-Bissessar selects
him to contest the seat, he would topple
Roberts said he heard the PNM plans
to put up Camille Robinson-Regis to
win the seat, which was once a PNM
"I don t even know if I want to go
back up. I don t know what will hap-
pen. That is a long way away. When
election comes, we will fight that."
However, he said if he is given the
nod to run for the seat: "I would blow
out any PNM. They are shattered."
Roberts, who was with his wife
Shandell, spoke to the media yesterday
during a walk in Carapo. Carapo is a
crime hot spot in his constituency, he
Many of the residents Roberts spoke
to complained about poor drains, crime,
unpaved roads, and not having a regular
supply of pipe-borne water.
The Government has approved an order
of 2,500 9mm pistols to deal with the
country s runaway crime.
The Sunday Guardian understands that
after several high-powered meetings, Min-
ister of National Security Gary Griffith got
approval to order the guns to upgrade the
current police stock.
The order, the Sunday Guardian under-
stands, has already been placed.
Griffith, at the meetings, steered clear of
indicting former national security ministers
but did say the police force was ill-equipped
to deal with the crime surge, and that the
criminal element may be better armed than
To offset that inequality, Griffith said the
guns were "an urgent necessity."
In an interview, Griffith confirmed the
order of 2,500 guns for the police force. On
whether his predecessors failed to properly
equip the police service, Griffith only said:
"I am not getting into what they did or did
concerned. But yes, we have approved the
order for the 2,500 guns."
He said that comes with special training
and the establishment of an indoor shooting
range for officers to practice.
A second State of Emergency?
This weapon upgrade for the Police Serv-
ice comes just days after Prime Minister
Kamla Persad-Bissessar announced an "all
hands on deck" approach to dealing with
the escalating murder rate. After a meeting
with the National Security Council last
week, Persad-Bissessar announced that no
officer would be allowed on leave and she
recalled those who were on leave.
The additional weaponry, the Sunday
Guardian understands, forms part of a holis-
tic plan to fight crime.
At the meetings, several experts and gov-
ernment ministers discussed different ways
to address the crime problem, with one
such suggestion being a second State of
Griffith, in subsequent media interviews,
said he did not rule out the possibility of
another State of Emergency to curb the spi-
ralling crime rate.
The Government called a State of Emer-
gency back in August 2011 after a particularly
bloody weekend left six dead. Now with 24
murders recorded up to yesterday, Griffith
admitted to weighing his options to help
combat the figures.
MELISSA DOUGHTY and FABIAN PIERRE
Seepersad: Broader approach to crime needed
For Dr Randy Seepersad, head of the University
of the West Indies (UWI) criminology department,
the 2,500 new guns for police officers is not the
In a phone interview yesterday, Seepersad said
police officers already have weapons.
He was not certain if the minister was bringing
in the extra weaponry to correspond with an increase
in the police force, but said the Government was
taking a suppressive approach to crime.
"They see crime as law enforcement. That is an
important perspective but it is limited. They need
to look at crime and the causes of crime from a
broader perspective," he said.
He said the societal and preventative aspects of
crime were needed.
Marshall: Be careful guns don't
get into the wrong hands
Sociologist and senior lecturer at the University
of the West Indies Dr Ronald Marshall is warning
Government about the recent order for 2,500 more
"We need to be careful about this you know,
because we already have too many guns that are
supposed to be in law enforcement hands...we need
to be careful of it entering private hands."
Marshall believes that the proper regulations,
checks and balances are not in place and can only
add fuel to a situation already spiralling out of con-
"More guns is not the answer...The bigger ques-
tion becomes what are we doing with all this intel-
ligence information we have?
"What is the end product of all these intelligence
information if they are not being used? How is it
that with all this hi-tech equipment that has been
imported and is being used from the first world
countries that the bandits are one step ahead of
Cummings: Multifaceted approach needed
Criminologist Renee Cummings also agreed that
more guns was not the answer.
In an e-mailed response yesterday, Cummings
said a multidimensional and multifaceted approach
"Government must secure public buy-in and
enroll the national community in its efforts to
reduce crime and violence. Along with enforcement
strategies, we need to see more community-based,
non-enforcement violence prevention strategies
that combine to create a comprehensive homicide
reduction initiative," she said.
She said the nature of crime had changed and
that the psychology of groups prone to lethal vio-
lence needed to change.
Cummings said a new crime fighting paradigm
of innovative homicide prevention and intervention
strategies was also needed.
The plans, she said, should use strategic problem
analysis to better understand the nature of homicide
and design actionable policies that make commu-
nities more resistant and resilient to crime and vio-
lence. (See Pages A6, A7)
D'abadie/O'Meara MP Anil Roberts greets
a resident during his walk-a-bout in
Carapo, yesterday. PHOTO: ABRAHAM DIAZ
Cops to get
...Griffith: It's an urgent necessity
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