The youths of East Port-of-Spain have made a pact to stand up together against the police officers they maintain killed Akel “Christmas” James in cold blood.
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Time to get over crime hurdle Mr Dillon
Point Fortin mother Nicole Anthony may have stunned some people earlier this week when she turned up at the “Conversations with the Prime Minister” to voice her frustration at the police’s apparent lack of action in dealing with the murders of her daughter Luenda and son-in-law Rickey Mohammed in January this year.
Ms Anthony went to the public meeting and begged Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley and National Security Minister Edmund Dillon to light a fire under the investigating officers, and ultimately the police, for them to give her case due attention and to find and convict the perpetrators. After the PM attempted to glaze over the deep-seething issue of crime, Ms Anthony’s issue was quickly dispensed with, given the format of the event, through an eventual promise of action by Dillon, who is also her MP.
When she spoke to this newspaper the following day though, Ms Anthony was frank in saying: “I went there straight from work, wearing a rubber slipper, my work pants and a vest, cause I thought the Prime Minister (Dr Keith Rowley) would refer the matter to the Minister of National Security or at least give some kind of assurance that something would be done. But all he (PM) look to tell me is that not everybody case could be solved quickly. The way he talk it didn’t give me no confidence anything would happen in this case. It look like because I poor I mustn’t get justice for my daughter. All I want is justice for my child, I fed up waiting to hear something.”
Ms Anthony’s cry is, unfortunately, but a microcosm of what society faces regarding the current crime scourge afflicting the country.
If we were not quite sure of the problem, even in the face of the continuing killing spree in the past weeks, there was yet another reminder of the sad state of affairs yesterday, when a staff member at the Chinese Embassy in this country was kidnapped in St Clair. Luckily, the police were at least able to act quickly in this matter to save some face. But this was reportedly one of two kidnapping incidents within a short space of time and in close proximity to each other between Wednesday night and yesterday morning.
That these incidents are coming on the heels of the abduction last week of businessman Gregory Laing suggests a return in full force of those individuals seeking to acquire money through these illicit ventures. Even more disconcerting is that yesterday’s act was committed in broad daylight in the busy St Clair/St James community, suggesting the criminals are becoming even more brazen in their acts.
So when will the law enforcement agencies get a handle on crime?
Even with the budget for the National Security Ministry climbing each year, citizens continue to be given excuses as to why these agencies cannot rid us of the minority of individuals bent on operating outside the law.
Acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams has all but given up in the quest to find ways of stamping out the rampant criminality. Mr Williams has also placed some of the burden of fixing this problem on the citizenry with his famous “if you see something say something” line, but it has become apparent that this has been to mask the inadequacies of the service as a whole. Yet Williams is not in this boat by himself.
Long before yesterday’s latest acts of crime, society had become wary of Minister Dillon’s continuing diatribe on his grandiose plans to eradicate the crime scourge. Indeed, citizens are waiting for the results he and the People’s National Movement promised when they were campaigning for the general election on the backs of the previous People’s Partnership’s inability to also get a handle on the same rising crime problem.
Needless to say, Mr Dillon will get no sympathy from citizens who now fear the worst from the criminal element even when innocently going about some of the simplest everyday activities. The country needs relief from the criminal element and needs it soon, not excuses for why the criminals can continue their siege with apparent impunity. And if by chance Mr Dillon cannot back up all his talk by finding the solutions to the problems, he should not wait for the Prime Minister to call his time in office—a fate he seemingly avoided in the recent Cabinet reshuffle.
In all of this, all the law-abiding citizens want is peace of mind and a feeling of safety and security for themselves and their loved ones and they do not particularly care how it comes, only that it is achieved.
The country needs relief from the criminal element
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