National Security Minister Stuart Young has called on citizens to lobby the Opposition UNC to support the Anti-Gang legislation when it is brought to the Senate next Tuesday. Young was speaking at the unveiling of the Crime Scene Simulator Facility at the Police Academy in St James yesterday.
He said the TT$750,000 facility, funded by the US Government, will go a long way in assisting police officers to solve crime.
But Young said another vital tool in assisting police fight crime is the Anti-Gang legislation.
“Any politician that tries to mislead the population and to put hurdles in front of the Police Service in fighting the criminal gangs outside, be warned, use the momentum, I am calling upon you today to use the momentum that has been building over the last few weeks, no less than the Commissioner of Police and his men have been calling for the return of the anti-gang legislation,” Young said.
He said he has always supported the TTPS in the fight against crime and accused the Opposition of “pulling the rug” out from under the feet of the Police Service.
“Less than a week from now, we will return to the Senate with the Anti-Gang legislation to give the Police Service another tool in their crime-fighting belt that they so necessarily need, that legislation and we will speak about it at the right time as the population should know, provides specific and express tools aimed at the fight against gangs and their criminal activity.”
Young said there is no replacement for the specific provision of the Anti-Gang Legislation. He also called on the Judiciary and defence attorneys to do their part in the Criminal Justice system, saying the buck does not stop with police when citizens are seeking justice.
Chargé d’Affaires of the US Embassy Shante Moore said the provision of the simulation facility will help police officers to hone their skills in places where crime typically happens- including the home and banks.
The facility is made up of rooms with different labels- with some rooms assigned as bedrooms, one living room, a kitchen, a bar, a haberdashery and an ATM. It will be furnished to resemble the places where crimes occur to allow police officers to visualise and recreate crime scenes.
Moore said police work is stressful, dangerous and often goes unrecognised.
“Those charged to uphold the law must be of strong moral character, receive the most up-to-date training and equipment, and hold each other accountable. The Trinidad and Tobago Police Service can count on the US Embassy to do what we can to support your efforts to counter criminal threats and keep the public safe while promoting greater accountability, oversight, and respect for the rights of all Trinbagonians,” he said.
He said the US has provided over $10 million in support to the Government for security assistance in the past five years.
Deputy Commissioner of Police McDonald Jacobs said the TTPS hopes to be able to bring evidence to the court that can ensure convictions and place criminals behind bars.