Charles: Gov’t has no idea how to reduce murder rate, after spending millions on Regional Crime Symposium

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Charles: Gov’t has no idea how to reduce murder rate, after spending millions on Regional Crime Symposium

Where are the measurable results of the $3.4 million Regional Crime Symposium or the vaunted “crime as a public health emergency” idea?

That’s the question raised by the MP for Naparima, Rodney Charles.

In a media release, Charles said with five months remaining and murders heading for 700, the Regional Crime symposium in April has proved that it was a colossal waste of time, effort and taxpayer dollars.

Charles said: “Citizens may be forgiven for asking what has become of the “crime as a public health emergency” idea? Or the COP Erla Harewood Christopher’s statement that we should expect a measurable reduction in murders by June this year?”

“These non-achievements come in the wake of murdered 75-year-old pensioner, Lutchmin Bickram who died a day after she was badly beaten and robbed at her home. Yet we are told that home invasions are down.”

Given the obvious increase in home invasions, robberies and murders, MP Charles is calling on National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds to admit that this Government has no plans to reduce our murder rates nor any of the indices reflecting our appalling crime situation.

He said “It is now abundantly clear that COP Erla Harewood Christopher’s appointment has not made a difference.”

The release added: “This Government has lost control over criminals and the criminal elements, with increasing attacks against our elderly. On Saturday, another 71-year-old businesswoman was beaten, robbed and attacked at her home. Our homes are no longer sanctuaries from crime.
The crime plan put forward by COP Christopher in April has failed. Since its announcement, we have had 106 murders.”

“Since the last Regional Crime Symposium we have witnessed an unacceptable 132 murders.
Meanwhile we are still on the Tier 2 watchlist of the US Trafficking in Persons Report, we have been warned that next year we may be on Tier 3. Travel advisories are still negative and TT remains on the EU blacklist. It seems like this PNM administration is only focused on feting, ignoring as Lloyd Best states ‘De hard work.’

“This PNM administration boasted with a bogus ten-point crime plan at the start of their tenure and still they have not been able to reduce the murder rate and get the crime epidemic under control. They are good at throwing out pie in the sky ideas and expensive regional fetes but we are yet to witness any tangible benefits. We were supposed to have an anti-crime action plan from the Regional Crime Symposium, but we have not seen anything to date.”

“Instead of wasting precious time and taxpayers’ dollars on useless regional talk shops, Charles is demanding that Hinds provide measurable crime fighting strategies that will improve citizens safety and security. We are now being told that we will never know the true cost of the most recent regional fete since procurement regulations do not apply.”

Charles said, “We do not have time for long winded, pedantic, obfuscatory old talk, broken promises and pie in the sky remedies. We urgently need specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely (SMART) crime fighting strategies. We need them now, not yesterday or tomorrow.
It is time for urgent action and a real way forward, no more unnecessary talk and distractions from Fitzgerald Hinds. If he cannot provide, then he must do the honourable thing and resign forthwith and let someone more capable get the job done.”