Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley says crime in Trinidad and Tobago had now become a national crisis as he expressed concern at the brazen and brutal ways criminals have been killing citizens.
Speaking to hundreds of delegates at People’s National Movement (PNM) special convention at St. John’s Ambulance Association, Port of Spain last Sunday, Dr. Rowley said there were three issues- security, economy and unemployment- that had been affecting the country and “attracting the attention of the Caribbean in a way that we have not anticipated”.
Of the three issues Dr. Rowley said the most worrying was crime, since the murder rate for 2016 had reached 125 to date.
“So for January, February and March, criminals have put away 125 of us. At that rate, if it does not abate we could be looking at about 500 people being killed in Trinidad and Tobago. That is a whole unacceptable state of affairs…. unacceptable,” Dr. Rowley told supporters at the convention.
He said while people continue to kill one another in a brutal and uncaring way, the government has a responsibility to find the perpetrators “and put them where they belong.
The prime minister said while many people believed that crime was a political issues, it was currently “a national crisis,” noting that criminals were now using the Internet and cellphones to conduct their illegal operations.
Dr. Rowley said the detection rate of the T&T Police Service was poor, adding that “our detection level is totally unacceptable. We cannot have a detection level in the face of a crime wave and a killing spree like this. The criminals now know that the odds are in their favor. We have to undo this.”