UNC adds Gary Griffith to their team for gov’t talks on crime

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UNC adds Gary Griffith to their team for gov’t talks on crime

Princes Town MP Barry Padarath has revealed that NTA leader and former police commissioner Gary Griffith will be on the Opposition’s team to meet Government members for crime talks.

Speaking at the UNC’s Sunday morning press briefing in Port of Spain, he said the Opposition was willing to bring real solutions to curb crime but questioned the Government’s general effectiveness.

He said the Opposition has always been committed to coming to the table with real, tangible solutions, not to complain.

Padarath said the Opposition has met the Government before, as said by Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar.

“When we go to those meetings we have provided the Government with solutions, recommendations, of both long term and short term measures.”

These measures could be enacted tomorrow, if the Government had the political will, he added. He said, for example, a new ministry of homeland security could house the immigration division, to allow the Ministry of National Security to stay focused on fighting guns, gangs and human-trafficking.

He said Persad-Bissessar has said all must come together.

“It is not just a Government and Opposition approach. We have done that time and time again and we have seen no results.

“This Government has an implementation deficit. That is the greatest challenge the Government is facing.”

Padarath said the Government has previously consulted the population, business community and Opposition for ideas, but ended up with an implementation deficit in across the board in almost every ministry. “I want to say on behalf of the Opposition, to the Prime Minister this morning, ‘Humble yourself.'”

He said the Government had failed on crime fighting so now must let those with a proven track-record come to the table.

Padarath said, “It is no secret that one of the most vocal persons who has delivered to TT – real, tangible results in terms of bringing down serious crime and also the murder rate – is former commissioner (of police) and former minister of national security Gary Griffith.”

Apparently referring to the UNC-NTA accommodation in the recent local government elections, he said it was the UNC that had made the first move towards collaboration on crime, not Dr Rowley unlike reported in one newspaper’s recent front-page.

Padarath said it was Persad-Bissessar who in the most responsible way had called on the PM to meet.

He said the two sides had met last February. He endorsed Griffith’s call for an all hands on deck approach against crime.

Padarath advised against sole reliance on prayers against crime, saying, “God helps those who help themselves.”

Saying Griffith had proven himself as former police commissioner and former minister of national security, Padarath claimed Rowley had admitted his inability to bring any new talent to the table. He viewed Rowley and Hinds as symbols of bungling failure, even as the national security apparatus was allegedly collapsing.

“Therefore the Opposition’s view is that yes we will go to the table, but we will go to the table with persons who we believe can provide those real, tangible solutions, (and) that will work with us.”

He said previously the UNC had made recommendations to the Government but their lack of political had not brought about those solutions.

“So therefore Captain Gary Griffith will be joining us and will be part of the team that the UNC takes forward in terms of providing solutions on the national security issue. So Prime Minister, humble yourself!

“Put aside the hate and the acrimony that Mr (Patrick) Manning spoke about, because that hate and acrimony is transferring itself into the national security environment of this country.” He said TT needed all hands on deck. “But we need hands on deck, most importantly, that can bring about solutions.”