OFFICIAL WEBSITE OF THE UNITED NATIONAL CONGRESS, The Official Opposition In The Republic Of Trinidad And Tobago.

UNC Crime Talks To Hit The Road…after Stalemate With Govt

UNC crime talks to hit the road…after stalemate with Govt

OPPOSITION Leader Kamla Persad- Bissessar says the United National Congress (UNC) will be hitting the ground and will hold public consultations on crime with the people.

Talks with the Government have reached a stalemate, with refusal by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley to respond to her concerns, she said yesterday.

In a telephone interview with the Express, the former prime minister said Attorney General Reginald Armour was ‘out of turn’ to write to her on November 3, demanding that she name her team by November 9, when the prime minister did not respond to her letter sent on October 14 asking for clarifications on several areas of concern.

‘His letter was out of turn. I will await the response of the PM,’ she said.

In the interim, Persad-Bissessar said she is also considering writing to President Christine Kangaloo, who, in September, had called on the Government and Opposition to work together to deal with crime.
‘I may write to the President asking her to intervene and speak to Rowley in the hope he may change his course.

Hopefully, she can convince him to attend, allow stakeholders to attend and discuss broader plans and policies. I have called for meetings since April, this year, so I was happy when the President also made the appeal. Maybe she can change his mind,’ said Persad-Bissessar.

She believes Rowley’s extending an invitation for the Government and Opposition to come together and discuss crime was just a public relations gimmick to appease a population reeling, frightened and frustrated with the crime scourge.

‘I think, by now, everyone knows that the Government was clearly on another public relations gimmick. Rowley had no intention of accepting help from any stakeholder. His insistence on keeping on Fitzgerald Hinds as Minister of National Security clearly tells the population that he is unconcerned about public opinion and public safety and security.

Added to that, we now have the very incompetent Marvin Gonzales as acting AG. It is irresponsible to appoint him to act in such an important position,’ said Persad- Bissessar.

Rowley had named five members of the Government’s team to meet with the Opposition and called on Persad- Bissessar to name four.

His team consisted of AG Armour (chair), National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds, Energy Minister and Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister Stuart Young, Tourism Minister Randall Mitchell and Public Utilities Minister Marvin Gonzales.
At present, several Government ministers are overseas, including Rowley, Young, Hinds, Armour as well as Agriculture Minister Kazim Hosein.
Gonzales is acting as AG and Local Government Minister Faris Al-Rawi is acting as National Security Minister.

Public consultations

Pointing out that, since early 2023, the UNC has held private anti-crime consultations with various groups, Persad-Bissessar said: ‘We will continue to do so but will also begin public anti-crime consultations where citizens can engage, along the lines of our budget consultations.’

The public crime consultations, she said, will be used to arm the public with crime- fighting tips, share with them the UNC’s crime plan and collect information from the people.

‘We plan to use these consultations to collect information and data to share with the Government whenever the PM decides to attend the crime talks with stakeholders. We will also be using these consultations to explain our plans to the public, especially to bring clarity to the stand your ground laws and to explain why citizens should be given legal firearms.

‘The consultations will also offer some training on anti-crime measures citizens can apply to protect themselves and their communities. We also have a lot of operational plans which we will be informing citizens about during these meetings,’ she added.
She said former police commissioner Gary Griffith will be part of these consultations.

Persad-Bissessar said she does not feel insulted that the prime minister has not yet responded to her October 14 letter.

Asked if the crime talks between the UNC and People’s National Movement (PNM) are
now dead, Persad-Bissessar said she will be ready to engage the Government when Rowley is ready to come to the table.

‘Whenever Rowley is ready to clarify the issues raised and attend the talks, I and my team will be available. As leaders of the two main parties, we should attend and lead by example. These talks are never dead from my side. If we can save one life or prevent one crime, by these meetings, it will be worth it,’ she said.

May be an image of 4 people, road and text that says 'Saturday Express November NEWS UNC crime talks to hit the road ...after stalemate with Govt Anna Ramdass have called WALK FOR PANCREATIC CANCER OPPOSITION Leader Kamla meetingy since when change 331 263 Participants tun Gonzales P support on Pencreatic tips, share them Government Oጠ- Gary Grifhth wl nay hange docs Public and discuss broader plans and she Notice to Shareholders meetings crime,'

Scroll to Top