Thursday 5 December, 2019

Charles: 502 murders under Stuart

The country simply cannot withstand another year with Stuart Young as National Security Minister.

That’s the assessment given by Naparima MP Rodney Charles, who described him as one of the worst-performing National Security Ministers in the country’s history as he reflected on Young’s first year in the role.

Charles spared no punches as he criticised Young for the number of murders which have taken place during his “unsuccessful stint” as Minister.

“His record thus far has been one of incompetence, inexperience, non-performance and outright cluelessness. 502 murders under his watch has placed him amongst the worst performing National Security Ministers in our history,” Charles said.

Noting the recent search efforts by the Coast Guard to recover a group of fishermen who went missing at sea last month, the Opposition MP said the Minister failed to secure the country borders or manage assets under his remit to effectively fight crime.

Charles listed the current state of crime and the Venezuelan migrant crisis as failures under Young’s tenure.

The Naparima MP said despite the Opposition’s repeated calls to Government to implement a well thought out, humane, refugee policy which recognises the limits of T&T’s absorptive capacity and based on international best practices, the Minister chose to ignore this recommendation.

He said Young, like good leaders, should recognise when to take advice.

“His refusal to listen or even acknowledge that we were experiencing a migrant/refugee crisis until it was too late is testament to his substandard leadership skills,” Charles said.

Quoting murder figures from August 2018 to present, the Opposition MP said 412 men and 90 women have been murdered during Young’s time as Minister, and the escalation in crime shows no sign of abating, but suggests that the situation is instead worsening.

He knocked Young’s performance, and further, that of the Dr Keith Rowley-led administration in dealing with crime.

“This is the record under the PNM and Minister Young, a record from which they cannot escape.

This inept PNM administration cannot come up with a functional and workable crime plan. As a lawyer Minister Young, and the even more clueless AG, continues to pretend to fight crime by passing more and more draconian legislation and blaming the Opposition.”

Charles added that Government has failed to come up with viable solutions for reducing crime in T&T.

“T&T needs a Minister who takes responsibility for protecting our borders, who ensures that criminals are not being funded by Government programs, who can guarantee that support institutions, like the DPP, our Forensic Science Centre and Judiciary function efficiently and effectively, who takes decisive steps to upgrade our National Security apparatus like the TTPS, who sets measurable, time defined, crime reduction targets and who reforms our prison system with targeted recidivism reduction rates,” he said.

“Given the prevailing hopelessness among the citizenry, the rising poverty, joblessness, escalating crime and an inept Minister Young, the PM must do the patriotic thing and call general elections now.

We simply cannot take another year of Minister Young,” Charles concluded.

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