Last Thursday National Security Minister Stewart Young told the country some people wanted to create a sense of fear and panic in T&T with what they call the runaway rate of crime.
He questioned who in the society stood to gain from pushing a narrative of the homicide rate going upwards and why are there instances, all of a sudden, of sporadic shootings of people who are not involved in gang or criminal activity.
Young said law enforcement officers and intelligence agencies have been trying to connect the dots as to why certain people would carry out random acts of violence against law-abiding citizens.
He said the police have been investigating the links of certain people and criminals who have been pushing crime in a particular way, promising that more will be revealed soon.
The National Security Ministry said it was wrong for people to sell a narrative that the Government has not been tackling crime.
His comments followed the death of Dr Ruradeva Sharma and the killing of two men on Queen Street, Port-of-Spain, on Wednesday, and the triple murder in Wallerfield on Thursday morning. Since then more blood has flown.
Minister Young’s comment seemed to implicate the Opposition. The party has since denied its culpability and has called for the minister to provide proof of his allegations.
If there is any truth in the allegations then those who have brought this kind of pain and fear on the country must be brought to justice—be they politician, businessman or gang leader.
For a long time there have been suggestions that the crime rate worsens whenever the PNM is in power and the numbers seem to support this narrative.
Be that as it may, the suggestion by the Minister of National Security, coming as it did at the post-Cabinet news conference is nothing but gun talk from Minister Young, who seem hapless to deal with crime and appears shocked that his penchant for talk can and will make no difference to reassure the population.
Minister Young, you are a lawyer and know there is a big difference between evidence and information. We are confident you have no evidence of what you suggested on Thursday. If you or the police had any such evidence and no arrests are made, then you would have failed in your duty.
Therefore, we are confident that at best you have information. That you would use that information in that way you could only achieve two objectives—to either besmirch the Opposition or to alert those involved that they are being investigated. Two outcomes that are unacceptable.
At this stage we urge you to either bring quick change or do the honourable thing and resign.
We ask, who stand to benefit most from your accusations? The time for playing politics with crime is over.