Sunday 7 June, 2020

Gov't cancels private security residential patrols

Less than 24 hours after Government announced that it engaged four private security firms to provide mobile security patrol services, National Security Minister Stuart Young revealed that a decision has been taken to cancel the residential patrols.

He made the revelation while speaking at a virtual media conference on Wednesday.

Young said it is clear many citizens feel safe and there is no need for the additional measure of security.

He said he would be writing the four security firms thanking them for stepping forward in a short space of time.

"It has become apparent in the last 12 to 24 hours that there are certain voices and the population of Trinidad and Tobago and the taxpayers who we respect, believe that they currently feel safe enough and there is no need to add any additional layer of security to what Defence Force and our Police Service are doing. It is clear to us that many people already feel secure and they believe there is no need for this extra proactive measure that was designed and being implemented to give extra comfort to the population of Trinidad and Tobago.

We have heard from the population and are very happy to hear that the population feel secure without the need for any additional measure that was not even going to cost a fraction of what other measures are costing and only for a period until May 5. So the population have said that they feel safe and at National Security, after consultation with the Prime Minister we have taken a decision to immediately cancel this residential patrol system," he announced.

Young also denied that the decision to cancel the patrols was a result of public backlash.

On Tuesday, the National Security Ministry announced that it engaged the four private security firms to provide mobile security patrol services in various residential districts on a 24-hour basis throughout Trinidad during the period April 6 to May 5, in the first instance.

Concerns were raised shortly after the announcement was made, with some people criticising the decision.

A subsequent media release, clarified that no additional powers would be given to the security officers.

The National Security Minister was asked by reporters whether the decision was taken in light of these criticisms.

"I don't know what you saw on social media, we are not guided by social media," he responded.

Earlier, the Minister explained that Government was able to negotiate a cheaper price than the initial pilot price in 2014.

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