Boost for crime fight

T&T government investing close to $300M in police force

PORT OF SPAIN — The Government is investing $289.6 million in several anti-crime initiatives including for 300 police vehicles which officers will be able to take home, says National Security Minister Jack Warner.

“They will be able to take the vehicles home for the first time as well as their weapons,”‚Warner said at yesterday’s post-Cabinet media conference at the Diplomatic Centre in St Ann’s. Warner said the initiatives will combat crime-related challenges facing T&T.

He said the $289.6 million will be spent as follows:

* Establishment of 5,000 Special Reserve Police officers — $60 million;

* Establishing immediately, police community groups, infrastructure and equipment in the nine police divisions — $5.1 million;

* Informational technology solution plan to detect/solve crime including upgrade of the E-999 service — $164.5 million; and

* 300 vehicles for police officers — $60 million.

Warner said the SRP‚force will be in varying ranks and implemented in consultation with the police commissioner. Of the total number, some 3,000 will be posted to the Community Policing Unit and will receive special training to address crime in non-confrontational areas and to address anti-social behaviour. He projected the SRP forces and increased complements in the army will be at work in advance of the Christmas season.

Warner said he was considering giving an amnesty to some illegal immigrants in T&T if they were of good character and could be an asset to T&T. He said he was aiming to have the Detention Centre, where illegal immigrants are housed, empty by year-end since 11 of them were returning to their countries next week.

He said the Government is also receiving assistance from the United Nations to set up a comprehensive computerised database to record and trace arms. Warner said records of arms are kept manually and a computerised database will assist the Government to trace illicit arms.

He said he would not be “jumbied” into revealing his anti-crime plan before it was seen by the Prime Minister and National Security Council.

“But when it is implemented, it will be swift, surgical and clinical,”‚Warner warned.

Asked if initiatives included wiretapping, Warner said he had not spoken to that unit to see how effective it had been. (Guardian)

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