No ‘Warner’ crime plan
Saturday, August 4 2012
IN OUTLINING some measures which the security forces will take to curb crime, National Security Minister Jack Warner admitted they are not based on a crime plan he devised on his own. Responding to concerns about crime raised by Cunupia business owners at a meeting at Indar’s Mall, Cunupia, Warner said many people keep asking about “the Warner (crime) plan.”
“Hell, there is no damn Warner plan. It is an anti-crime plan and the anti-crime plan is owned by all of you who give me ideas every day, who meet me on the street and say what to do,” Warner told his audience.
Reiterating he could not solve crime overnight, Warner said, “There is no magic wand. Abracadbra and crime is over. There is no magician. Mandrake and Lothar don’t exist any more. However insisting, “failure is not an option for him” and with Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar having reassigned him from Works to National Security, Warner vowed, “Come what may, I will do it (reduce crime).”
Noting recent successes by police in Central Trinidad in confiscating illegal firearms, Warner told Central Police Division Senior Supt Deodath Dulalchan who was sitting next to him, “We can move every gun off the streets but unless we plug the source where they come from, we are wasting time.” Warner said the Coast Guard, “must be responsive” and clamp down on illegal arms smugglers bringing guns into the country. “Go and look for them because we are seven miles from Venezuela and the arms come from there.”
On drug trafficking, Warner said, “Everybody knows where the marijuana comes from. The best choice of marijuana comes from St Vincent. They know when it’s coming and where. We will catch them now.” Promising to solve all “real and imagined” issues facing the police service (including salary, manpower and promotions), Warner declared it was unacceptable for police stations to be understaffed on weekends or for officer above the rank of sergeant to think they work a five day work week between the hours of 8 am to 4 pm. Business persons applauded Warner as he declared, “That must stop.”
Promising that police officers will soon “have their own motorcars to keep and to keep with their firearms,” Warner disclosed Government will bring legislation to Parliament that will see persons who own vehicles having “a number plate for life.” Saying this will make a dent in the illegal car theft racket in the country, Warner quipped, “You could buy five motorcars. Same number plate. Steal the cars nah. Thief cars. There are 164 spots in this country where guys strip cars. We must run them out and I make no apologies for saying that.”
The implementation of a gun amnesty, establishment of gun court, 5,000 special reserve police officers and placing police camps all over the country were some of the other measures identified by Warner. Government MPs Stephen Cadiz, Ramona Ramdial, Dr Glenn Ramadharsingh and Collin Partap supported Warner and outlined measures taken in their respective constituencies to deal with crime.