State of Emergency: Crime fighting measures

The Trinidad Express of September 5 lists the following as elements of Government’s crime plan. (I have a list of related legislation below as well.):

1) Establishment of a team headed by Dr Selwyn Ryan to seek out the root cause of criminality (particulary as it affects Afro-Trinidadian males) and suggest solutions.

 

2) The immediate establishment of a high powered legal team selected by the Attorney General in consultation with the DPP to assist the police in the processing, case preparation and case flow management of persons arrested during the State of Emergency. The attorneys include Dana Seetahal, Pamela Elder, Israel Khan and Theodore Guerra, all Senior Counsel.

 

3) Establishment of a crime reduction committee comprising the Minister of National Security (John Sandy), Attorney General (Anand Ramlogan), Minister of Justice (Herbert Volney), Minister of the People and Social Development (Glenn Ramadharsingh), Minister of Gender, Youth and Child Development (Verna St-Rose Greaves, representatives from the Chamber of Commerce and business community, a child psychologist, probation office and labour.

 

4) Development of a policy by the office of the DPP to give consideration to an amnesty for cases involving minor offences over five years old. The DPP shall retain and exercise his independent constitutional discretion in this regard.

 

5) Creation of a new policy and procedure for the Mercy Committee to increase the number of persons who no longer pose a threat to society and may be favourably considered for the grant of a presidential pardon.

 

6) Establishment of an information desk in the Public Affairs Section in the Police Service to provide information and assistance to concerned parents and families regarding the status and whereabouts of their loved ones whom they have reason to think may have been arrested by the police. This is an addition to the right of the accused person to telephone a friend/relative or counsel of his choice.

 

7) Establishment of a special counselling and rehabilitation unit within the prison system to concentrate on young offenders

 

8) Immediate introduction in this Parliament of the four bills- Abolition of Preliminary Enquiries Bill, establishment of a gun court bill, electronic monitoring bill (allowing police to use GPS technology to track the movements of defendants); new DNA bill. Also new Prison rules.

Related legislation:

Firearms Act

Bail Amendment Act

Anti-Gang Act

DNA Bill

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