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PM meets security

Published: 
Friday, June 15, 2018

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley will on Monday meet with heads of all national security agencies at a National Security Council (NSC) meeting to discuss the country’s crime situation.

Heading the list of issues to be addressed by Rowley, who chairs the NSC, will be the Anti-Gang Bill and what benefits the country has obtained since it was proclaimed last month.

At yesterday’s post-Cabinet media briefing, National Security Minister Edmund Dillon also spoke about the Rasta City and Muslim gangs who have infiltrated the Laventille district, which he visited on Wednesday with acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams and MP Fitzgerald Hinds.

Dillon said the main issue between these gangs was retaliation, for which they had no reason.

“So there is a lot of senseless killings taking place in our country…senseless to the extent that even bystanders who don’t belong to any gang whatsoever are being caught in the crossfire.”

However, he said the police “must be hard” on those who possess illegal guns.

“There would be a heavy law enforcement approach to treat with those elements who continue to disrupt our societies and communities by bearing illegal arms and it reach a stage where there are random shootings now.”

Having recovered 1,064 guns last year, Dillon said in the last five months 500 firearms were seized.

Asked if the Anti-Gang Bill had reaped any benefits for T&T, Dillon said, “I can say quite categorically it will reap benefits and that is straight from the Commissioner of Police (acting).”

Even before the bill was proclaimed, Dillon said the TTPS had started discussions with the Director of Public Prosecutions to look at lessons learnt from the country’s 2011 state of emergency, where several people who were arrested had to be released.

He said people have already been arrested under the new anti-gang act but could not give a figure.

“That is as far as I am aware.”

Communications Minister Stuart Young interjected, saying that the PM has asked for meeting with heads of national security agencies.

“These are some of the questions we will be asking the police service when we meet with them on Monday because we have the same questions as you. We are not the ones who go out there. Part of the discussions we expect to take place with the NCS is getting the answers.”

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