Independent senator Dr Varma Deyalsingh says if T&T’s CCTV cameras were fully on stream throughout the country, it may have been easier to track Andrea Bharatt after her kidnapping last Friday.
The vehicle model and registration number had been provided to the police hours after Bharatt was seen entering the vehicle at King Street, Arima.
Speaking to Guardian Media, Dr Deyalsingh said the kidnapping highlighted the need for reform of the public transportation system.
“I feel if we had a proper CCTV camera system running we could have looked at all nook and cranny and see where this car went and was going. I am thinking that we have failed to provide a safe transport system for our females and other individuals because males go missing too,” Dr Deyalsingh said.
He also called for PH taxis to be outlawed.
“We should set up a system where we can take Public Transport Service Corporation drivers and check their characters and develop an app so that you can have access to someone to drop you to and from your destination. Let this service be run from the PTSC so that the commuting public can be more at ease,” he said.
Deyalsingh also called on the authorities to allow the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to set up operations at Cedros to curb the influx of drugs, guns and human trafficking which was rampant in the peninsula.
Deyalsingh said certain elements of law enforcement were tainted with corruption.
“We should allow the DEA to come in for two years. We seem to be unable to solve these border problems because of the corrupt elements in the Police Service and the Coast Guard. We need to clamp down on our borders so that there will be less influx of drugs, guns and humans coming in,” he added.
He noted that even though the death penalty existed, criminals were not afraid of being prosecuted. Instead, they had managed to make crime seem lucrative and fashionable,” Deyalsingh explained.
“We cannot afford to have youths liming on the block who can be influenced by gang leaders. If we have legislation to stop idling youths who are under 18 and get them involved in school training activities. Put them in a youth camp because if we allow them to lime on street corners they will be influenced by the criminals who are flashing money, jewellery and buying Range Rover with cash,” he added.
Deyalsingh said, “We have to send a message to the youths that crime does not pay. Criminals must face the full brunt of the law. Why do we still have people on death row? Is it that don’t trust the judicial process which found them guilty? That goes for white-collar criminals too.”
Deyalsingh also agreed with Police Commissioner Gary Griffith that citizens must be allowed to protect themselves.
“Let citizens empower themselves if the authorities are failing. We have to protect ourselves. We just cannot sit down like ducks in these times,” he added. Deyalsingh also called for the rehabilitation of prisoners saying prisons should be clean and not traumatising to inmates. He said the online courts should be used to fast track cases to free up overcrowding in the prisons. (RDS)