Bring down crime
By MIRANDA LA ROSE Saturday, September 7 2013
PRIME MINISTER Kamla Persad-Bissessar’s mandate to newly-appointed National Security Minister Gary Griffith is to, “bring crime down bring it down as fast as you can.” Persad-Bissessar gave Griffith this mandate yesterday afternoon as he received his instruments of appointment.
At the same time that he was receiving his instruments of appointment, police in central and south Trinidad were probing the unrelated murders of two women, one who was found semi-nude and dead in the forests and the other, who was bludgeoned to death at her home.
Speaking after Griffith was sworn in at the Office of the President in St Ann’s, Prime Minister Persad-Bissessar told reporters, “I told Minister (Griffith) you better smile while you’re taking this photo, it might be your last smile.”
Confident that Griffith, who has a military background and a master’s degree in criminology, can make a dent in the crime situation, Persad-Bissessar said Griffith is versed in many of the projects and plans Government has to deliver in this fiscal year having also been a security advisor for government over the past three years.
“There are several projects we want to get off the ground and he has the will- power and drive to do it,” she said. Of his new appointment, Griffith said he has no intention of asking for a honeymoon period. “I do not need a honeymoon. I am already married. I intend to hit the ground running.”
Stating he has no intention of politicising crime, he urged all political parties and non-governmental organisations to come to the table to tackle the issue of crime and security head on.
He said former security minister Emmanuel George had left him a good foundation on which to continue building. Knowing most of the lead individuals in the protective services because of his background, Griffith said, “gives me a head start.”
Asked if he has a crime plan, Griffith said, “We are not going to have anti-crime plans based on ideas, hit and hope. It is going to be clinical, based on data, analysing threat assessments and then implementing anti-crime strategies.”
On how he will deal with rogue police officers, Griffith said policing is a contract of trust between citizens and law enforcement. If the two cannot trust each other and if it involves putting in place mechanisms to bring back that trust, Griffith said, “then so be it.”