Monday 24 February, 2020

Opposition Leader's motion to debate crime turned down

Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar said it was ‘disappointing’ that a motion to debate crime was turned down by the Speaker of the House of Representatives on Monday.

In a statement issued Monday, Persad-Bissessar said the motion was raised to discuss government’s ‘failure to deal with the high levels of serious and violent crime’.

Persad-Bissessar said the matter was raised on the adjournment of the sitting to discuss the matter as an issue of urgent public importance.

“It is disappointing that the Opposition was not given the opportunity to raise this pertinent matter in the House today. Crime and safety remain the number one concern of citizens in our nation, yet it was deemed not urgent for discussion," she said.

“The Opposition will continue to listen to the concerns and cries of the people, as we develop solutions to this pressing problem which we will implement upon our return to office,” the Opposition Leader stated.  

"The text of the motion is outlined below:

"The matter is definite as it pertains specifically to the continued levels of serious crime that has become almost an institution under this Government with at least thirty-seven (37) persons murdered in just twenty-seven (27) days of the first month of 2020, with the total number of murders exceeding two thousand and fifty (2050) over the past four years.

"The matter is urgent because this Government has failed to make good on its 2015 promise to the people of Trinidad and Tobago to address what they themselves recognized as “the most serious problem affecting our citizens today”. The matter is also urgent because not only has the Government absolutely failed to win the war against crime, they have abdicated their responsibility to the country by asking not to be judged on their failure.

"The matter is of public importance because the Government continues to be out of touch with reality on this most burning national issue of crime by the National Security Minister’s claim that the country is not in crisis, and because of which, no one in Trinidad and Tobago feels safe and no one is safe."

House Speaker Bridgid Annisette-George said the motion did not qualify as per the standing orders but said there is a Private Members Motion No. 5 which deals with the subject.

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