Young on 500 murders: No reason for me to resign
Minister of National Security Stuart Young defended his crime-fighting efforts after the murder rate crossed the 500-murder mark earlier this week, saying he will ignore Opposition's calls for him to resign.
Speaking during Thursday’s post-Cabinet media briefing, Young referred to calls for his resignation by Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar, saying there was no reason for his resignation in light of the positive developments under his watch.
“Every single crime committed in Trinidad and Tobago is of concern to me. I have seen a report in a newspaper by the Leader of the Opposition, calling for my resignation. At this stage I don’t think there’s anything for me to resign with respect to.
“I’ve also seen the very transparent attempt by the Opposition which they have been trying to do from day one since the appointment of a new Commissioner of Police, to try and put some sort of wedge…any right-thinking citizen can see that is a ruse by the Opposition (to) create a false narrative.”
“At the end of the day the Commissioner of Police and the men and women of the Police Service are the ones constitutionally who have the powers of arrest. I can’t go and arrest anyone. Every single week I have been having meeting with not only the Commissioner of Police and heads of divisions, but also other arms of law enforcement and intelligence agencies. It’s a lot that is happening that you’re seeing some of the effects of, that is being driven by the Ministry working along with these bodies,” he said.
Young said he will ignore those calls by Persad-Bissessar and her members.
“I am ignoring the Leader of the Opposition and her members in these calls. At the end of the day I am doing my job to the best of my ability, and there are results that are being shown.”
“As the Minister of National Security, I took a decision that am not going to be…out there ‘rah-rahing’ and talking…there are times for a Minister of National Security to speak and I will speak on those occasions,” he said.
Young also referred to the first arrest and charges laid under the Anti-Gang Act take place earlier this year, along with other breakthroughs including the rescue of several kidnap victims.
He added that the threats to the country's maritime borders from illegal migrants were immediately addressed by officers of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service and the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard.
Young added that he found it ‘ironic’ that Persad-Bissessar commended Commissioner Griffith’s work when she opposed his appointment to begin with.
Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi, who was also present at the briefing, said Persad-Bissessar is ‘panicking’.
“Mrs Persad-Bissessar is panicking because she’s seeing the puzzle slowly come together. What you are seeing right now is Mrs Persad-Bissessar recognising a competent Minister of National Security working with a competent Commissioner of Police.”
“This is about her trying to influence people by ‘ole talk’,” he said.
“People are hungry for results, and when you tell a starving man you bought an oven and you just bought the chicken and you’re going to put it to roast, it doesn’t help his hunger, but that’s what we have done. The meal will have to be served, the population will judge us on the back of results and therefore I endorse Minister Young’s approach. He is the catalyst to ensure people will do their jobs. This country is breathing a breath of fresh air and relief by one simple appointment – the Commissioner of Police,” he said, adding the ‘proof is in the eating of the pudding’.
Hinds: We’ve done what we promised
Minister in the Ministry of the Attorney General Fitzgerald Hinds deflected from the spiralling murder rate, saying government has ‘done its job’ by appointing a Police Commissioner.
“We promised a number of things but we would not have been foolish…to promise that there would be no murders. No government welcomes that (but) that is the reality.”
“We did not promise there would be no murders…we promised to improve our border security. We promised that we will treat with the institution of the police service which we are now doing. We promised to speed up the court system…those are the things we’ve promised, and we are executing our promises to the letter.”
“We’re keeping our promises,” he said.
Hinds said a committee was assigned to review the results of a manpower audit on crime conducted by criminologist, Professor Ramesh Deosaran.