Commentary: More Needed to Fight Crime

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By Neil Gosine

ONE burning question in my mind is how will the $3.325 billion allocated for the National Security Ministry and the $2.559 billion to be given to the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) will deal with the crime crisis we are experiencing in this country?

Minister of Finance Colm Imbert allocated these funds towards these institutions in the Supplementation and Variation of Appropriation Financial Year 2023 Bill. This gave an overall increase by approximately 11 % from the September 2022 budget in various areas.

He has basically acknowledged that more is needed to fight crime. The country doesn’t need more “ole talk” and language designed to have a persuasive or impressive effect but lacking any meaningful content.

It seems to me that it is the same old story of bad budgeting by the Minister when you have to come in May of 2023 and increase the national budget that was budgeted for 2023. This increase is centered around recurring expenditures like wages, salaries, utilities, COLA, outstanding payments to suppliers and contractors but especially security services.

This seems to be bad budgeting from the Ministry of Finance from the budget presented previously and one must be concerned with these mounting expenditures especially since the murders keep rising, the home invasions are rising, the safety of citizens are decreasing and the quality of life in Trinidad and Tobago is only declining.

People just do not feel safe here as crime continues to impact businesses and their ability to invest. The spiral in murders doesn’t seem to be decreasing. If we check the last eight years the PNM has been in power we are hitting figures close to 4,500 murders within an eight-year period with us having the 6th highest murder rate in the world.  I have a problem accepting this because we are talking about billions of dollars in supplement allocations that doesn’t seem to help resolve the real problems facing us.

Crime fighting in Trinidad and Tobago’s is abysmal and we need competent people to tackle the problem instead of throwing more money at it where it seems not to be making an impact. Just being absorbed by some suppliers for equipment or technology provider but not being properly utilised.

We all hope with all this money being given, the problems will be resolved and the TTPS and the Ministry of National Security will operate more efficiently, more swiftly and effectively in 2023. Everyone says the same thing: there must be long term planning to deal with the problems and to see real growth but all we are getting at the moment is a feeding frenzy without solving the problems.

Dr Neil Gosine is an insurance executive and president of the Valsayn North Park Association. He is also the treasurer of the UNC and a former chairman of the National Petroleum Marketing Company of Trinidad and Tobago. He holds a Doctorate in Business Administration, a Master’s in Business Administration MBA, BSC in Mathematics and a BA in Administrative Studies. The views and comments expressed in this column are not necessarily those of AZP News, a Division of Complete Image Limited.


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