President reiterates commitment to combating crime
--- cautions against public, police complacency by Chamanlall Naipaul
December 12, 2003
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He reiterated his commitment to ensuring that more resources are provided to the security forces to better equip them in the fight against crime. Referring to recent inter-gang warfare and vendetta type killings he said that such crimes are difficult to combat, pointing out however, that such crimes are not good for the image of the country.
One of the approaches in the crime fight that has to adopted, the President advocated is intensified community policing, as well as a more aggressive approach towards criminal activities.
However, the President observed that the same sections of the community, which call for aggressive action against criminals, shout harassment of people when it is implemented.
While the ideal is a crime free situation that is not realistic, the President remarked, pointing out that in societies where the security forces are better trained, equipped and organized the crime rate is very high, noting that in the UK which has one of the most efficient security forces in the world experiences a serious gun crime every 55 minutes daily.
But he reassured that he is not using situation in other countries to defend what is happening here, reiterating that every effort is being made to counter the local crime situation.
"Of course we cannot say we can't just say we have to live with this reality and not do anything. That's why we put more resources into the police. We are going to recruit more policemen, strengthen community policing groups....we should have more and more people getting involved in policing their communities," the President declared.
On the issue of tougher penalties, the President he is still hoping that the opposition would give support to the crime bills which they did not support in Parliament, pointing out that it is the trend in countries that are affected by serious gun crimes.