Jack: Not that grim
PORT OF SPAIN — National Security Minister Jack Warner yesterday said the crime situation was not as “grim” as it would seem despite the reports he has been seeing in the newspapers.
Warner said while he cannot tell media houses how to do their jobs, he wanted the country to know that crime statistics were already down.
“I have seen the headlines this morning (yesterday) and like you, there is a cause for concern,” he said at a media conference at his Temple Court office on Abercromby Street, Port of Spain.
Warner then detailed the variances in murders and other serious crimes from 2010-2012. He said for the January to August period in 2010 there was a total of 328, while for the same period in 2010 there were 272 crimes. By 2012, that figure for the same period had dropped to 264, he said.
“That is including this massive, big figure of seven you read in today’s paper (Express). Generally speaking, as far as serious crimes are concerned, there has been a reduction and even so far as homicides are concerned,” he said.
“It is no comfort really whether it is eight less or ten less as the case may be, but the fact that I am making to you, is that it is not as grim or as bad as it seems. In fact every effort is being done by the authorities so as to minimise the amount of murders taking place especially in the hot spots.
“And I don’t want to call any particular areas because if I do that to show in a two- month period there has not been a single murder, some clown may prove me wrong tonight,” he said.
“In the light of the state of emergency and in light of this sensational headline of seven murders, I thought I should talk to you,” he said to the media.
With regard to the issues that precipitated last year’s calling for a state of emergency, Warner said it was not because of the spate of murders over a short period of time, but was because of a still classified threat to national security.
Warner said countries like Jamaica endured worse criminal statistics yet when he perused those newspapers, he saw that no major emphasis was placed on it.
“I know that Jamaica is approaching 700 murders so far for the year. At the ending of July 643 murders and I have gone through every newspaper in the last six, seven months and I have not seen a single headline about the murder rate,” Warner said. (Express)