Persad-Bissessar says gov’t needs to stop politicising crime-fighting

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Persad-Bissessar says gov’t needs to stop politicising crime-fighting

Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar, said the people of Trinidad and Tobago are in danger, owing to the government’s failures in national security and the criminal justice system.

In a release sent before the body of Andrea Bharatt was found on Thursday, Persad-Bissessar said the failures are appalling and unacceptable and “continue to pose a clear and present danger to the safety and security of all law-abiding persons of TT.”

And, instead of focusing on this, she said the “Attorney General Faris al-Rawi “chose to engage in a pathetic attempt at distraction by bringing up the Bail Bill/law.”

Persad-Bissessar said, “The time for discussing the Bail Bill/law was in Parliament where the Government and Opposition ventilated their views. The Bail Bill/law is but just one, if not the last, stop of defence.

“The Bail Bill/law was in place before but did not stem the avalanche of crime nor protect the many crime victims. The Bail Bill/law does not prevent crimes as (it) only kicks in after a crime is perpetrated.”

She questioned why the government had money to “approve contracts to pay millions to the family of the AG and Minister of National Security (Stuart) Young, yet they cannot find money to adequately resource the protective services to carry out their duty, better to protect and serve.”
She added that the detection and prosecution rates in the criminal justice system are “abysmally low.”

“The Rowley regime’s continued failure to fix the criminal justice problems in which people can be charged multiple times with no convictions is another example of their failure.”
She said it is not a time for “cheap political points.”
“The only discussion we need to hammer out here is how do we protect our young girls and all citizens from those who prey on them.”

She also suggested the government consider legalising pepper spray and other non-lethal devices for women to use.