Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 29th 2014 Contents A8
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Wednesday, January 29, 2014
#159 EMR, Barataria
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The country s crime problem is
unbearable and the long and short of
it is that the Police Service is not up
to the task, said Opposition Leader
Dr Keith Rowley, as he unveiled parts
of a crime plan, the PNM has begun
working on, for when it gets into gov-
"People said they are beginning to
lose faith that we could ever pull it
back. We give the assurance we will
put our hands to the tiller and steer
the ship of T&T.
"We in the Opposition are taking
steps to understand the problem and
prepare responses," he said, to a loud
burst of relieved applause.
Rowley was addressing a packed
room at the Arima Town Hall during
a PNM town meeting on Monday night.
Another crime plan of the PNM is
to change the curriculum of primary
schools, to create, not just well certified
people, but quality human beings, Row-
"When we come into office we will
be focusing heavily on primary schools.
There will be a fundamental shift with
respect to resource allocation. If we
put more resources and attention to
moulding minds in primary schools,
they will take it to secondary schools,
university and work."
Rowley said this way, anger and
detrimental behaviour could be min-
"We believe we can turn it around,
but we have to break the mould some-
"The issue is curriculum failure. We
are more concerned about certification.
We have to make some radical changes
to create quality citizens. We have to
go back to the primary schools to begin
to rectify the problem. The status of
primary school teachers will be elevated
beyond what they never knew."
Rowley said in the PNM s crime plan,
a lot of support will also have to come
from social mechanisms.
He said despite challenges, the former
PNM administration did have some
successes in alleviating crime. It was
by "staying on the job" that the police
were able to bring to an end the spate
of kidnapping under the last admin-
istration, he said.
The former PNM government was
also making progress with informa-
tion-gathering on the proliferation
of gangs and gang warfare in and
around Port-of-Spain, until the Peo-
ple s Partnership Government came
into power, Rowley said.
He said the present administration,
under Prime Minister Kamla Per-
sad-Bissessar herself, "stripped the
country naked before criminals" by
"Criminals are in charge now," he
said. To highlight the importance of
information-gathering, Rowley said
when ace crime-fighter Randolph
"The Fox" Burroughs, a former com-
missioner of police, hung out at a
bar in Curepe junction, it was a ploy
to gather information on criminal
activities from underworld elements.
Referring to the ongoing govern-
ment-hosted National Week of
Prayer, he said the Government had
now desperately resorted to praying.
PNM unveils part of anti-crime plan...
Rowley: Police Service not up to task
Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley
said he ended up in that position by
Addressing supporters at a town
meeting at the Arima Town Hall, Mon-
day night, in the run-up to the PNM s
May 15 executive elections, Rowley
bared his soul as he traced how he
ended up leading the party.
"I ended up in this position by acci-
dent. It was not my intention to go
beyond the term before the last election
(in 2010). I was becoming disenchant-
"But I took the understanding that
sometimes you have to stand alone.
And if you stand alone long enough
for the right thing, others will stand
Rowley gave his supporters a piece
of advice. "Don t fall in love with public
office. If you don t fall in love with
public office, you will have no fear to
He was making indirect reference
to his fallout with former prime min-
ister and PNM leader Patrick Manning
in 2008, over the lack of oversight of
Calder Hart, then executive chairman
of Urban Development Corporation of
PNM lady vice-chairman Pennelope
Beckles-Robinson, who it was spec-
ulated planned to contest the leadership
post in the elections, was sitting in the
crowd on Monday night.
She was one of the people Rowley
acknowledged in his address. Without
calling names, he urged supporters not
to disrespect any candidates in the
PNM elections. He also pleaded with
constituency party groups to clean up
voters lists, which he said contained
the names of a lot of dead people.
'I became leader by accident'
Dr Keith Rowley
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