PM meets with Security Heads today

Today, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley will meet with heads of all national security agencies at a National Security Council (NSC) meeting to discuss the country’s crime situation.

Heading the list of issues to be addressed by Rowley, who chairs the NSC, will be the Anti-Gang Bill and what benefits the country has obtained since it was proclaimed last month.

National Security Minister Edmund Dillon visited the Laventille district last Wednesday with acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams and MP Fitzgerald Hinds. He said that the main issue between the Rasta City and Muslim gangs who have infiltrated Laventille was retaliation, for which they had no reason.

“So there is a lot of senseless killings taking place in our country…senseless to the extent that even bystanders who don’t belong to any gang whatsoever are being caught in the crossfire.”

However, he said the police “must be hard” on those who possess illegal guns.

“There would be a heavy law enforcement approach to treat with those elements who continue to disrupt our societies and communities by bearing illegal arms and it reach a stage where there are random shootings now.”

Having recovered 1,064 guns last year, Dillon said in the last five months 500 firearms were seized.

When asked if the Anti-Gang Bill had reaped any benefits for T&T, Dillon said, “I can say quite categorically it will reap benefits and that is straight from the Commissioner of Police.”

Even before the bill was proclaimed, Dillon said the TTPS had started discussions with the Director of Public Prosecutions to look at lessons learnt from the country’s 2011 state of emergency, where several people who were arrested had to be released.

He said people have already been arrested under the new anti-gang act but but was unable to give a figure.

“That is as far as I am aware.”

Communications Minister Stuart Young indicated that these questions will be answered by the police service when they meet today. “We are not the ones who go out there. Part of the discussions we expect to take place with the NCS is getting the answers.”

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