To: All Editors
Date: 8th Jan 2024
From: The Office of the Leader of the Opposition
OPPOSITION LEADER: 15 MURDERS IN THE FIRST WEEK OF 2024. IF ACTION IS NOT TAKEN IMMEDIATELY BY ROWLEY AND THE POLSC TO REPLACE FITZGERALD HINDS AND ERLA CHRISTOPHER, OUR COUNTRY MAY WELL RECORD ANOTHER YEAR, OF NEAR OR OVER 600 MURDERS. I REPEAT MY CALL TO INTRODUCE STAND YOUR GROUND LAWS, GIVE LAW ABIDING CITIZENS ACCESS TO LEGAL FIREARMS AND FOR GOVERNMENT TO WORK WITH THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY TO END THE SCOURGE OF EXTORTIONS AND ROBBERIES.
The first week of 2024 has recorded 15 murders, more murders than any comparative period in recent years. The last two years, 2023 and 2022 have been the most murderous years in the country’s history, 575 and 605 homicides respectively.
Still, Rowley arrogantly rejects the pleas of a terrified population and persists with his failed National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds and Police Commissioner Erla Christopher.
The 15 terrifying murders for the first week of 2024 has not provoked a single operational action or even comment from the Government.
If action is not taken immediately by Rowley and the POLSC to replace Fitzgerald Hinds and Erla Christopher, our country may well record another year of near or over 600 murders.
It is increasingly evident and equally disturbing that this Government has no interest in citizens’ security and welfare.
Fresh on the heels of the nation coming out of its second deadliest year in history, the Police Commissioner is once again calling on God to do her job for her.
While, as citizens, many of us have faith in the divine and believe in the power of prayer, it still falls to us to do what needs to be done, as faith without action is dead.
It is now obvious that both the Government and the Police Commissioner are not even pretending to care about the nation’s safety, while brutal criminals are roaming the land, killing at will, invading decent people’s homes, kidnapping, assaulting, and carrying out other violent acts.
On behalf of our citizens, I repeat my call to introduce stand your ground laws, give law-abiding citizens access to legal firearms and for the Government to work with the business community to use the full power of the state apparatus to end the scourge of extortions and robberies.
The UNC remains prepared and committed to meaningful discussions with the Government, headed by the Prime Minister.
However, the party which I lead will not just wait for the Prime Minister to put ego aside for the sake of the country.
I call on every citizen to, no matter your political stance, to join the UNC’s Anti-Crime Town-hall meetings, starting in St Joseph next Monday at the La Joya Complex Auditorium, Eastern Main Road.
Come join the conversation with Professor Hubert Daisley, Dr. Indira Rampersad, Ralph Maharaj and former Police Commissioner Gary Griffith, where you can share your experiences, and contribute your ideas.
Your voice is a key part of the solution, no matter your age, economic standing, or political views. It is now up to every one of us to secure ourselves, our family and our community.
It’s time for collective action, as the government’s failure cannot be the citizens’ excuse for inaction.
Kamla Persad-Bissessar, SC, MP
Leader of the Opposition
8th January 2024