PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, CMC – The Trinidad and Tobago government has outlined a three- step crime plan as the number of murders in the country neared the 500 mark.
Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar said that her seven-month-old People’s Partnership government was facing a “challenge” in dealing with the criminal activities here that have so far resulted in the murder of 473 people to date.
The corresponding death toll last year was 502.
Speaking at her Siparia constituency, south of her on Tuesday, Persad Bissessar said that her administration has been working on a holistic way of fighting crime.
She said emphasis would be placed on finding the criminals, adding “that is to say that you enforce the law, you find criminals”.
She said the other aspects of the crime plan would include poverty reduction in the most vulnerable areas and the judiciary.
“We have to go at the level of the Judiciary as well and give the support to the judiciary, such as is necessary to improve the administration of justice in Trinidad and Tobago,” she said.
The comments by the Prime Minister follow the public outcry over the number of persons killed during the past few days, including two women, one of whom was hit by a stray bullet as gunmen fired indiscriminately at a 28-year-old man, whose body later burst into flames as a result of the number of bullets fired into his body.
“I was upset when I read the newspaper this morning,” she said, adding “I was upset generally because again crime remains our greatest challenge.
“We have been working on a holistic way to fight crime, but the greatest challenge facing our nation is too much crime and banditry.”
Trade and Industry Minister Stephen Cadiz speaking on a radio programme here on Wednesday described the murders of five people recently as “horrific” adding “we are at war (with the bandits)”.