Faris defends amendments to Anti-Gang Bill

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Faris defends amendments to Anti-Gang Bill

Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi has accused the United National Congress (UNC) of not wanting to support laws that will protect citizens

In an interview on CNC3’s The Morning Brew, Al-Rawi said he could not understand the Opposition’s continued resistance to renewing the Anti-Gang Act.
He said it was up to the Government and Independent benches to pass laws.

Amendments to the Bill include police now needing a warrant to enter and search premises and only detaining suspected criminals for 48 hours as opposed to 72 hours. Government requires a simple majority for the passage of the Bill and the sunset clause has been removed.

However, UNC Senator Jayanti Lutchmedial has called for the requirements for a special majority vote and the sunset clause to be reinstated.

Lutchmedial said the Opposition did not support previous versions of the legislation since there was no evidence to show effectiveness, and the statistics cited on the reduction of gangs did not state where those members went.

But, Al-Rawi asked: What is wrong with us in this country, respectfully?
“We are arguing about whether we should have an anti-gang law. Canada has it, the United States has it, Jamaica has it, Caricom has it, Europe has it, and Trinidad and Tobago cannot have it? What is wrong with this country?”

Al-Rawi said statistics were available to the Opposition and Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith had said that under the Anti-Gang Act, 2018, there was a 30 per cent reduction in the number of gangs and a 58 per cent decrease in gang members as of 2018.