I need citizens’ help
By COREY CONNELLY Sunday, July 1 2012
Days after being installed as the country’s new National Security Minister, Jack Warner yesterday admitted he needed the help of all citizens in the fight against crime.
Warner’s admission came as he delivered remarks at a Housing Development Corporation’s (HDC) key distribution ceremony at the Beetham Gardens Multi-Purpose Sporting Facility in Beetham Gardens, Laventille. Some seven families yesterday received keys to their new units in Beetham Gardens. The event, held under the watch of heavily armed police, also launched a major sporting and social intervention initiative called “Hoop of Life,” which is being led by American basketball star Shaquille O’Neal.
Warner, part of a team of Government Ministers who attended yesterday’s event, said crime was everybody’s business.
“I ask all of you to help me, join with me and to help me in the fight against crime,” he said.
“I alone can’t do it. Mrs Persad-Bissessar and the Government alone cannot do it. But if all of us put our shoulders to the wheel we shall succeed and I ask for your help and understanding.”
Warner’s public appeal for assistance in the war on crime contrasted with his take-charge position when he assumed the post one week ago. During that time, he called for the re-introduction of a “sanitised” version of the Flying Squad to combat serious crime, increased police visibility and promised to conceptualise a new, results-oriented crime plan within two weeks. (See page 1B)
Warner also recently presided over the controversial destruction of the Highway Re-route Movement’s camp site, which was in the path of the construction of the Point Fortin to San Fernando Highway. (See page 7A)
Yesterday, the Minister did not speak about the simmering issue in his address in the Beetham, but publicly lamented the treatment that was meted out to Beetham residents under the People’s National Movement (PNM) during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Trinidad and Tobago, which was held from November 27 to 29, 2009.
The Chaguanas West MP recalled that the PNM had constructed a wall in Beetham Gardens “to exclude you from the event.”
“But the People’s Partnership has quietly broken down walls of despair and put up a wall of hope,” he said.
Warner also assured the gathering that the programmes established under former national security minister, Brigadier John Sandy, will be retained and improved upon during his tenure.
In his address, Minister of Housing, Land and Marine Resources, Dr Roodal Moonilal, stressed that the HDC housing units must never be seen as a haven for the criminal element. He also said the HDC was committed to providing safe and affordable housing to the nation’s citizens.
HDC managing director, Jearlean John, said the social intervention strategies currently on stream were conceptualised in the wake of the deaths of four persons at Building Two, Trou Macacque, Laventille, last December.