PM: Crime-fighting costing the country millions of dollars that could be spent elsewhere

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PM: Crime-fighting costing the country millions of dollars that could be spent elsewhere

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley says the millions of dollars expended on crime-fighting could better serve the country elsewhere.

Addressing a post-Cabinet media briefing at the Office of the Prime Minister, Whitehall, Port-of-Spain, yesterday, Rowley said a few people engaged in criminal conduct were damaging the country in more ways than one.

“We have to spend a lot of money on security issues both in the public sector and the private sector. It’s a waste of national resources. A few people engaged in criminal conduct are causing us to direct a lot of resources to them; to control them and their behaviour, and to protect ourselves from them,” Rowley said.

“You could imagine if they were behaving differently and those millions that we’re spending on national security were being spent on education, health and infrastructure and so on? We would’ve been a much better place. The more we have to spend (on security), the less resources we have to spend on those (other ministries), so they’re (criminals) damaging us in more ways than one.”

He added, “We’re spending hundreds of millions of dollars on security items to keep people out your yard. And, of course, there are families who have members of their families who are murderers, killers who are known to them. They are supporting them, hiding them, hiding guns for them. At the end of the day, we are wasting not just time, (but) lives and resources. It is a job that we cannot walk away from.”

Nevertheless, the Prime Minister said he believes adequate resources are being made available for security.

Rowley said an obstacle Government is facing is criminals not being held accountable. He said the mindset of criminals is that they will not be held accountable for their actions but even at the courts, they’re not held accountable.