Hinds laments lack of support in crime fight – ‘I NEED THE PUBLIC’S HELP’

The content originally appeared on: News Americas Now

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

I NEED HELP: National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds, left, seen here with China’s Ambassador Fang Qui after an MoU signing on Monday, says he and arms of national security need more help from the public in the fight against crime.
File photo/Roger Jacob

NATIONAL Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds says if he as minister and the law enforcement agencies receive the full support of the public, much more could have been done in the fight against crime.

Hinds made his feelings known during the official handover ceremony of draft policies on Firearm Users Licences (FULs) and border security at the Ministry of National Security, Abercromby Street, Port of Spain, on Monday.

Commenting on the importance of the public’s support in sustained crime-fighting initiatives, Hinds said while he does not “crave” support, as he realises the strength to continue must come from within and from God, he would prefer to have the public’s full backing.

“It would be nice if I ever felt I had the full weight of the society behind me (as I am) leading all of the organisations of national security in our collective fight as a nation, because after all, it’s you who elected me and it’s you who pay me.

“It would be nice if I felt I had all of your support in Trinidad and Tobago in the fight against criminals and criminality. Instead of a united fight, very often we have some division even at the level of the Parliament,” Hinds said.

The Laventille West MP said that between the Opposition’s reluctance to support certain policies, and resistance from criminals, he felt as much as 70 per cent of society is against crime-fighting efforts.

Referring to reports that members of Jamaica’s opposition party signalled their intention to withdraw support for states of emergency in eight parishes, Hinds said TT’s government face similar challenges from Opposition members.

“So I say 50 per cent want to fight rather than join in the fight (against crime) and then the other 20 per cent I would say are those who are likely to commit crimes and be involved in it and anti-social behaviour. I put 50 and 20 per cent together to say 70 per cent because law-breakers and criminals don’t want national security to succeed.

“It will really be nice if we had full support but, even so, we understand the turf and understand what is required and fight on we will.”

Referring to remarks by acting Police Commissioner Erla Christopher last Friday in which she urged women to become more proactive in steering men away from crime, Hinds said he agrees and also called for the public to support the work of the authorities.

File photo: National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds.

“Women are very powerful and I appreciated what the Commissioner said and in that context, she called on women as an army, to deal with our children, socialise them well, nurture them, teach them well, discipline them well so they will grow up to be more law-abiding, socialised, civilised humans less likely to wreak havoc upon us, when they get access to this thing called a gun.

“I will now join in calling on the national community to see the police service, to see the Ministry of National Security as the tip of the spear. We are the ones in the front.”

Contacted for comment, San Juan/Barataria MP and the UNC’s shadow security minister Saddam Hosein said the Opposition has in the past extended their support to certain crime-fighting initiatives and called for more cohesion between different arms of the protective services.

Hosein said there was need for more effective management of state agencies as he accused Hinds of being unable to manage the scope and responsibilities of national security.

“What we need is proper management and synergies between the various arms of national security, which has been absent because there is an absence of leadership from the chairman of the National Security Council, the Prime Minister, and his second in command, the Minister of National Security.

“Minister Hinds has proven to be quite inept and incompetent in anything he does. We have lost all confidence in this government to fight crime,” Hosein said.