“You touch one, you touch all of us and we are not going to accept the criminal element targeting any of our law enforcement”.
This was declared by National Security Minister Stuart Young following an emergency meeting of law enforcement heads at the Ministry’s Port of Spain office yesterday to discuss the murder of Superintendent of Prisons Wayne Jackson who was shot and killed at his home in Malabar on Tuesday night.
Also killed on Tuesday were three other people, Shivan Ramdhanie shot dead at a bar in Debe, Clifton Jeffrey shot dead at his home in Rio Claro, and farmer LalBeharie Ramoutar chopped to death in his garden.
Young said Jackson’s murder has highlighted that the scourge of criminality continues to act with a level of impunity.
Jackson, he said, who was promoted to Acting Senior Superintendent in February this year was “stomping his foot” on the criminal elements within the prison walls.
Young said he visited the maximum prison a few weeks ago and he met Jackson as he accompanied him on the tour.
Young assured the country that coming from the emergency meeting with the law enforcement heads is a renewed commitment to tackle this issue as “one force” a strong united front and ensure there is a “sustainable reaction” going forward.
The Minister said that an inter-agency task force will work along with the prison service in the investigations.
He also promised that come January, legislation will be brought to the Parliament to increase the punishment against criminals inside and outside of the prison service who kill or injure law enforcement officers.
Young added that there will also be an increase in the punishment meted out to corrupt officers who are caught in trafficking of guns and drugs.
He also spoke to beefed up CCTV coverage in the prisons.
Questioned on the spate of murders between yesterday and today, Young said “there is no doubt that Trinidad and Tobago right now is fighting a scourge of crime, I have to say and I’ve been very cautious i haven’t said it before, that there has actually been a reduction in the number of homicides within the past couple of months.”
He said this is not something they are celebrating as they continue to utilize technology available in treating with every homicide.
Young also assured that for every homicide committed they will put as many resources as they possibly can to determine the reason behind it, detect who is the perpetrator and prosecute him or her.
“So I am aware of it, the Police Service is investigating all of those incidents and we will continue to press on to fight this thing as hard as we can,” Young said.