PM calls crime a national crisis
PORT OF SPAIN, CMC:
Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley has described the crime situation in Trinidad and Tobago as a "national crisis" and vowed that his administration would seek to enact legislation to deal with criminal activities with or without the support of the Opposition.
"We invite the opposition to join us in the battle against the criminals, and with or without them, we are going to go ahead and pass that law," Rowley said, making reference to the amendments to the Strategic Services Agency (SSA) and Interception of Communications bills in order to give the SSA greater scope, authority and ability to get involved in collecting information about people who are intent on committing crimes.
Addressing a special convention of the ruling People'e National Movement (PNM) on Sunday, Rowley, said that so far this year, 122 people have been murdered, and if left unchecked, the murder toll would reach 500 by year end.
"I am putting it to you today that that level of unacceptable conduct is a national crisis," he said, telling party supporters that the opposition legislators were opposing the plans to amend legislation to give the security agency more powers to deal with crime.
He said the legislation was the same that the People's Partnership brought in 2010 and passed with the support of the then PNM opposition. Rowley said his six-month old administration was prepared to do what is required to deal with the crime situation, adding that the problem of the low detection rates was high on the government's priority list.