Rowley assembles team for UNC crime talks; but he won’t be attending

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Rowley assembles team for UNC crime talks; but he won’t be attending

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley has finally written to the Opposition Leader in response to her request for a meeting to discuss anti-crime measures.

However, he will not be a part of said talks.

Instead, he has assigned a team for the talks, which will include Ministers Fitzgerald Hinds, Stuart Young, Marvin Gonzales, Randall Mitchell and Attorney General Reginald Armour as chairman.

He invited the Opposition Leader to put forward a team of four parliamentarians for the talks immediately after the Budget debate.

The letter ended by saying, “The Government proposes that the team will have the option (on a majority vote) to co-opt the input of citizens by way of memoranda and/or consultation.”

Persad-Bissessar has been asking for additional stakeholders to join the talks. The Government will have the majority if it puts forward five representatives but the Opposition can only put forward four.

The Government proposed to discuss 12 pieces of legislation in the meeting, including:

• “Firearms Control Bill, 2023
• Bail
• Interception of Communications
• Anti-gang
• Whistleblower protection
• Cybercrime bill
• Administration of justice—to include amendments to the Supreme Court Act with reference to a Drug Treatment Court, the Sexual Offences Act, the Summary Courts and the Coroners Act
•  Amendments to the Evidence Act to include the right to silence
• Controlled Operations Bill 2023
• Private Security
•  Legislation for Polygraph Tests for Law Enforcement Officers
•  Raising the retirement age for members of the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force.

The letter came shortly after the Opposition Leader held a media conference where she lamented that the Prime Minister had not responded to her letter, nor had he put forward his proposals.