Limited State of Emergency Declared in Trinidad & Tobago

Text of Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar’s statement made this evening.

Subject: press statement: Limited state of emergency

Good evening members of the media.

The entire nation has been rocked with the recent tragic news of the spate of murders over the past few days. The situation has reached proportions which the government must respond to in the most definitive manner possible.

I am advised that one of the causations for the spike in murders is ironically linked to the success by the police in the discovery of large drug hauls with values in excess of twenty million dollars in just one raid. These large sums of money simply do not disappear from the drug trade without consequences and in some of the cases now occurring, this is the result .The question though isn’t just what is causing it but how do we deal with it?

As you know, we have deployed more financial and human resources than any government in recent time in dealing with the scourge of crime and until this recent upsurge the nation had been encouraged by the decline shown by year to years statistics. But a problem of this nature that has been the result of years of neglect will not disappear overnight and we reassess day by day each strategy deployed and how effective it is in achieving short term and long term objectives in reducing crime. But the current crime spree dictates that more must be done and stronger action has to be employed now.

The situation cannot continue like this without a response commensurate with the wanton acts of violence and lawlessness; it must be a response as well that will halt the current spike in gang activity and crime in general in the shortest possible time.

After much deliberation with the National Security Council and members of the Cabinet it has been agreed that the government consider the imposition of a limited state of emergency in hot spots across the country. Such a consideration must of course have the agreement of the President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, His Excellency, George Maxwell Richards and I will be meeting with him to discuss this matter.

The limited state of emergency will allow us to achieve a number of things in relation to crime reduction which would not be prudent for me to disclose in advance of the action taken.

We are aware that such a decision will have an impact on the daily lives of innocent, law abiding citizens in these areas but I feel confident that they will recognise and appreciate the need to protect them and bring the current crime surge affecting them under control. We have the will to tackle the crime problem in Trinidad and Tobago and the commitment to place every resource at our disposal towards waging and winning this war on crime. We will succeed. We will succeed. The nation will not be held to ransom by marauding groups of thugs bent on creating havoc on our society. The limited state of emergency in hot spots across Trinidad and Tobago is merely part of a larger aggressive reaction response by the government.

As these measures are being deployed using both out police and military we ask all citizens to bear with the inconveniences that may arise from time to time. This is in everyone’s interest. In fact, I intend to hold discussions with the Leader of the Opposition to seek his party’s support with certain legislative matters in Parliament. Trinidad and Tobago comes first.

Nothing is more important than the right of each citizen to be protected and to enjoy a life of peace and tranquility.

7 Comments to “Limited State of Emergency Declared in Trinidad & Tobago”

  1. I agree with the PM but I am concern about the following:

    1. What if these notorious criminals move into other areas to carry out their crime. 2/ They can change their time in doing these crime “remember they shoot in the day”
    3. How long would this curfew go on for and do the gov, have a plan B.
    4. What about the white colour crime because these little boys are fighting among themselves but what about the big men who are bringing in the guns and drugs into the country what the gov doing about it. Remember these are only the small fries – they are getting rid of. This is my concern among many.

  2. Would the elements in the so-called ‘Hot Spts’ move to the Cold Spots?

  3. agree…but they should have it in the whole country..nt jus hot spots

  4. what about when it’s lifted? wouldn’t the criminals lay low for these few days then just come back out in full force once everything is back to normal?

  5. There doesn’t seem to be any sort of detail put into planning this measure, and vital information that the country needs is not being given to it effectively. We’re still trying to figure out where the limited state of emergency applies to. There is just no way that this will be effective, and it is very likely it’ll do much more harm than good.

  6. The problem as I see it is that you have a Commissioner and a Deputy who are painfully unfamiliar with Trinidadian culture. They were both parachuted in from alien cultures and have no idea about the complexities of the Trinidad and Tobago culture. To me it is reminiscent of the colonialist attitude that a white person can solve all our problems and Trinidadians are simply incapable of tackling the issues without foreign intervention. To impose martial law is in essence punishing law abiding citizens for the action of criminals and quite frankly sends the wrong message to the gangs and criminals who have created this atmosphere; “you win! We will hide in our homes. You now control our lives and how we live.”

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