Hinds: I’m Sorry for Crime

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By Prior Beharry

MINISTER of National Security Fitzgerald Hinds has apologised for the high rate of crime in Trinidad and Tobago.

Speaking during the 2023/2024 Budget debate in the Lower House on Monday, he said there were about 32,000 firearms “around here.”

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The minister said the transnational crime networks dealing with illegal guns entering the country were also involved in human trafficking and drugs.

Hinds said, “I want to apologise to the people of T&T, those who have lost dear ones. Those persons who are traumatised by some of our citizens and perhaps others, in home invasions, in rapes, in incest.

“That woman who was dragged on Charlotte Street a few days ago, pained all of our hearts.

“I, on behalf of those of us who behave in those ways; who choose crime in some cases as a business model, I apologise to the rest of us and give you the assurance as minister of national security, leading national security, we will continue to put up the walls, put up the fences and fight like hell to protect you from that.”


He said the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) has a complement of about 10,000 police officers with 7,500 regular officers and 2,500 special reserve police officers.

Hinds said there were 345,000 patrols by police in 2022 across the ten police divisions. For this year, there have been 311,873 establishing presence, he said, noting that there have been justified cries from the public for more.


He said the army has been involved in about 30,951 patrols for the year and was also assisting with issues at construction sites.

Hinds said the radar system around the country was 100% in operation.

He said more than 500 firearms have been recovered in this country for the year so far.

Hinds said, “We are engaged in a serious national gun retrieval exercise because all the murders you hear my friends on the other side, and everybody justifiably talking about, and the trauma that it yields in this society, they are done with guns, 87%, 90 % of them across the region and in Trinidad and Tobago.

“So we believe that if we put a national gun retrieval exercise, which we have done in place, it is led by an assistant commissioner of police, hardworking, professional and in conjunction with a major of the Defense Force. They are leading this charge to take in these illegal guns back into our care and dismantling them.”


He said 7,000 firearms were dismantled.

Hinds said, “If you can help yourself by identifying the presence of these lethal items please do so, because the life you save may just be your own.

“Revolvers, pistols, shotguns, submachine guns, rifles, homemade shotguns and even hand grenades have been found here.”

He said, “Altogether 521 firearms recovered by the police so far for the year.”

Hinds said the number of firearms recovered were:

  • 96 revolvers;
  • 298 pistols;
  • 35 shotguns;
  • 11 submachine guns;
  • 62 rifles using 5.56 or 7.62; and
  • 18 homemade shotguns.

He said, “I would like to see that figure quadrupled, quintupled and the more guns we get, the more the public support the police in getting these guns out of the hands of criminals, the less likelihood we will have to cry every Monday morning as we gather outside the Forensic Science Centre. And I have to account for these murders as Minister of National Security.

“I want the public support and I want the support of my friends on the other side for us to gang up, if I may say so, in a civilised, wonderful, legislative way and fight the criminals, the minority in this country, who are putting stresses upon us.”

Hinds said guns and bullets were causing the murders.

In 2022, there were 605 murders.

And for this year up to Monday, he said there were 458 murders with 63 being detected by the police.

He said “We’re running close to what happened in 2022, unfortunately. The total number of murders solved in 2023 so far is 85.”


Hinds explained that out of that figure, 63 were for murders that occurred in 2023 and 90 people have been charged for murder in 2023.

He said that far for the year there have been 572 woundings and shootings with the majority of them involving a firearm.

Hinds said there has been an increase in rape and incest and other sexual offences and fraud offences.

He said there were 10,180 serious crimes recorded in 2022 and for 2023 there were 9,412

Hinds said the police completed 225 targeted exercises for this year executing 196 warrants and found 124 guns between August to October 9.


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