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 Failed PNM Crime Plans

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Posts : 538
Join date : 2011-01-27

PostSubject: Failed PNM Crime Plans   Thu Mar 07, 2013 7:56 pm

The PNM’s war on crime
Sunday, November 6 2005

SINCE returning to power in December 2001, the ruling People’s National Movement (PNM) has introduced several plans aimed at addressing the country’s ever worsening crime situation. Starting during the tenure of Howard Chin Lee, who held the position of National Security Minister until a Cabinet reshuffle in early November 2003, the ruling party’s anti-crime measures have included acquisition of several pieces of high-tech equipment, patrol boats and vessels, institution of an elite squad within the police service and joint police/army patrols. The first in the long list of crime plans was Operation Anaconda, introduced in February 2002 with much fanfare. This initiative involved, for the most part, army/police patrols, road blocks and lockdowns in several areas.

According to Chin Lee, the aim was to put a squeeze on escalating crime. On the day that the plan was instituted, an impressive convoy of 50 vehicles and 300 policemen and soldiers was deployed from the St James Barracks to carry out a series of raids, road blocks and searches along the East West Corridor. However, while the plan was being enforced, a lone gunman robbed the Chaguaramas branch of Republic Bank of $25,000 and escaped, shooting a yachtie, John Jeffrey. Chin Lee later declared the exercise a success and claimed that it had targetted high- crime zones. In the long run, Operation Anaconda, which bore the same name as a Bush administration operation in the early stages of the Iraq war, drew heavy criticisms and yielded very few arrests. It was eventually discarded. By December 2002, Chin Lee was announcing a new plan — Weed and Seed. However this initiative suffered a quiet and early death.

Since then, in response to public criticisms, several crime plans have been announced and instituted with very little success. During 2003, the focus was on beefing up street patrols and increasing manpower within the police service. Plans were unveiled for adding 1,000 new officers to the service. The Government rejected a crime plan proposed by former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani who had been credited with reducing the high crime rate in that US city. Late last year, the Manning Administration accepted a $5.7 million plan by Professor Stephen Mastrofski of George Mason University. The plan, aimed at transformation of the police service, involved strengthening of the Police Complaints Division and improving performance management systems for better accountability.

Earlier in the year, some of the recommendations made by the Ken Gordon Crime Committee were accepted by the Government. These included a heavy round-the-clock police/army presence on Nelson Street, Port-of-Spain; round-the-clock foot patrols in other known crime hot spots; a helicopter patrol; and continuous raids, searches and road blocks for illegal drugs, arms and ammunition. In May 2004, Prime Minister Patrick Manning announced that state-of-the-art radar facilities would be installed to boost surveillance of the country’s coastlines. He said a link had been found between the country’s escalating crime problem and the drug trade and it was Government’s intention to eradicate the illegal trade.

The Prime Minister also said helicopters with attack capabilities were to be purchased to patrol TT’s maritime area. Last June, the Manning Administration launched yet another anti-crime effort, including efforts to resume hangings and a package of emergency legislation for police reform. The most recent of the PNM’s anti-crime initiatives were contained in recent Budget. These latest measures include seeking technical assistance for the police service through Scotland Yard and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).,31628.html
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PostSubject: Re: Failed PNM Crime Plans   Thu Mar 07, 2013 7:58 pm

Govt has failed on crime
By NALINEE SEELAL Friday, January 4 2008

MINISTER of National Security Martin Joseph yesterday admitted for the first time that the Government’s anti-crime measures in 2007, had failed to arrest the current spate of lawlessness and murders stalking the land.

A calm Minister Joseph held a press briefing at the Ministry of National Security yesterday, to announce that Government will debate a motion on crime when Parliament meets on Monday.

He said that during the first Cabinet meeting for the year, yesterday, discussed at length was the total number of homicides for 2007 which stood at a record high of 388. The homicide figure in 2006 stood at 371 and in 2005, 386 persons were murdered.

Joseph said Cabinet was concerned over the spate of homicides and it was agreed that a number of the anti-crime measures used last year did not work.

“Clearly it did not work and as a result, those measures are being reviewed and I can assure you that on Monday the Government will be in a position to say what changes will be made to ensure that we do not have a repeat in 2007,” the Minister revealed. Police sources said several vital aspects of the 2007 anti-crime initiatives were formulated by Prof Stephen Mastrofski, the crime specialist who was paid large sums of money by Government to advise police on how to tackle crime.

He said that in 2007, the Government projected a ten percent reduction in homicides, but this reduction never materialised. Instead, the country saw an unprecedented level of murders culminating in a .5 percent increase in the murder rate, at year’s end.

Joseph said that on Monday, the Government will outline what new measures will be put in place to deal with crime and will also address some of the measures which failed.

Minister Joseph said in 2007, special emphasis was placed in reducing gang-related murders and the Homicide Working Group was set up to deal with those types of murders.

He said the Repeat Offenders Programme was also put in place to monitor the activities of persons who were known to the police and who were suspects in several crimes.

Officers of the Inter-Agency Task Force were also utilised heavily but according to Minister Joseph, some of the measures put in place did not reap the desired results. Yesterday, a senior officer of the Homicide Bureau expressed concern over the increase in homicides and added that the gang killings will continue because the gang members are in possession of sophisticated weapons.

He suggested that a gun amnesty be introduced and stiffer penalties be introduced for possession of guns. Some of the anti-crime measures which Government introduced in 2007 were blimp patrols, increased foot and mobile patrols in hot spot crime areas, joint police/army patrols, the homicide working group to deal with murders, the Repeat Offenders Programme (ROPE), to target the activities of gang members, the hiring of 55 retired British Police officers to assist and train officers of the Special Anti-Crime Unit of Trinidad and Tobago, increased manpower and structured facilities for the Special Anti Crime Unit of Trinidad and Tobago, the hiring of retired police officers, the revamping of the police service with United States Professor Dr Stephen Mastrofsky being retained to introduce measures to assist in crime fighting, the revamping of the Anti-Kidnapping Unit, the establishment of a special bomb unit, to deal with bomb threats, the establishment of a K-9 Unit in Chaguaramas, the purchase of cadaver dogs to search for bodies, the purchase of tracker dogs and sniffer dogs and the purchase of new vehicles for the police service.

Yesterday, Leader of Opposition Business in the Senate Wade Mark questioned the hiring of Dr Mastrofsky to revamp the police service.

He said that Dr Mastrofsky’s plans have failed and government is wasting taxpayers money by paying someone who could not get the desired results. He said the public will be shocked to know how much it is costing taxpayers to pay Dr Mastrofski.,70809.html
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PostSubject: Re: Failed PNM Crime Plans   Thu Mar 07, 2013 7:59 pm

By Kristy Ramnarine
Former Attorney General Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj has condemned Government’s misuse of funds in purchasing the blimp and “eye in the sky” towers in its fight against crime.
Maharaj was speaking during the launch of the new socio-political group, ACT TT, at La Joya Complex in St Joseph on Sunday.
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PostSubject: Re: Failed PNM Crime Plans   Thu Mar 07, 2013 8:02 pm

Trinidad announces new strategy to combat growing crime wave.

From BBC Monitoring International Reports)
on 18 December

Port of Spain, Trinidad: National Security Minister Howard Chin Lee has announced that [the] government plans to adopt scientific and innovative approaches, as part of a new strategy to conquer rising crime.

Speaking in the Senate on Tuesday [17 December], Chin Lee said that the "Weed and Seed" initiative was aimed at weeding out the criminals and planting positive seeds in the young people. Official statistics show that a total of 158 people have been murdered here so far this year.

The national security minister said that the most advanced techniques, including digital cameras to improve the mug shot identification system, a new automatic fingerprint identification system that identifies criminals through a computerized base data system and a high-tech management fleet system would be adopted.

Chin Lee, under increasing pressure from the opposition and some sections of the population to resign over the increasing crime and murder rate, said that the government would also be improving the rapid response unit of the police.

"The E999 communication network system will be further expanded to more adequately serve the needs of the Ministry of National Security and government agencies in the field of telecommunications," he said.

He said the improved system would allow for easier communication among selected law enforcement agencies without the intervention of the monopoly Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago (TSTT).

Chin Lee said that an extensive training programme would also be undertaken, including specialized training in narcotics, money laundering, crime scene technology, fraud and handling of blood stain evidence.

"We are also working on upgrading of the physical facilities to create an appropriate physical working environment,' he added.

To deal with the recent spate of kidnappings here, he also [said that the] government would soon be introducing legislation that provides for tougher penalties and the designation of kidnapping as a non-bailable offence.

He said the new "Weed and Seed" project was aimed at enhancing the law abiding and productive potential of young people.

"The Neighbourhood Watch Programme also presents the ideal opportunity for citizens to ensure there are not any unwelcome criminal visitors within their neighbourhoods."
Chin Lee said that the business community was also "playing its part in this crime reduction challenge. They have injected large sums of money in the re-launch of the Crime Stoppers Hotline," he added.

Chin Lee told legislators that the former crime prevention initiative "Anaconda" had netted more than 900 persons over the period 20 February to November this year.
Meantime, a local pastor on Tuesday night called on the authorities to undertake house-to-house searches as part of a wider plan to deal with the rising crime wave in Trinidad and Tobago.

Pastor Andy Homer of the Open Bible Church made the plea at a memorial service for slain former national footballer Ralston James who was gunned down by two bandits on Monday afternoon and will be buried in Tobago on Saturday.

Homer told relatives and members of James's football club, W. Connection, that Trinidad and Tobago was "too small to tolerate the level of criminal activity" currently taking place.

Source: Caribbean Media Corporation news agency, Bridgetown, in English 1603 gmt 18 Dec 02
/[c] BBC Monitoring
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