Monday, February 24, 2020

T&T: Chamber urges limited state of emergency

Trinidad Express:-EVEN if it means calling for a limited state of emergency, the Government needs to do whatever it takes now to stop the spiralling crime situation.
This is according to three business chambers that released a joint statement yesterday following the circulation of several violent videos on social media.
The Couva/Point ­Lisas Chamber of Commerce, Chaguanas Chamber of Industry and Commerce and the Penal/Debe Chamber of Commerce said it was clear citizens have lost respect for public spaces following the shooting at Clifton Hill Beach and the public brawls at Piarco International Airport and the Chaguaramas Boardwalk. The chambers said they were very concerned with the “ridiculous state of lawlessness and criminal activities in our country”.
They stated: “It seems as though the population does not have confidence in the relevant authorities when it comes to national safety, hence we call on the Government to take control of the burgeoning crime situation even if it means calling for a limited state of emergency in the interest of the people of Trinidad and Tobago.
“It is evident that we have lost respect for public spaces, as seen on many viral videos that [were] shared via social media recently, thus begs the question, what about those that were not captured? It appears we are becoming a land of ­anarchy and chaos.”
A state of emergency was announced by then-prime minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar on August 21, 2011. Accompanying the state of emergency was a curfew from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. in selected hotspots.
The curfew hours were then changed from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m.
On November 8, 2011, the curfew was lifted but the state of emergency remained in effect following several calls by the business community for the curfew to be lifted to once again breathe life into the economy that was crippled by the shutdown of night-life.
On December 5, 2011, the state of emergency officially ended.
Govt should seek help

The chambers also said more resources must be given to all authorities to curb the situ­ation, and the Government should seek assistance from other countries which had simi­lar situations and were able to solve such problems.
The chambers added: “More resources should be given to the forensic authorities to assist in the detection rate by increased staffing and updated technology. Given the recent positive changes made in the Licensing Department, this information should be shared with the Trini­dad and Tobago Police Service by introducing a fully computerised system to detect criminal activities, for example, using on-board computer systems in police vehicles, dash-cam and vest-cam systems. Strengthening of the maritime borders should also be of a major priority by utilising current port container scanners.”


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