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September 17, 2009 by Fensic

Let me quote from the Finance Minister when she delivered the budget speech last week, ‘…..Mr. Speaker, National Security is one of the fundamental responsibilities of any Government. The Government acknowledges that the current level of lawlessness in our society is unacceptable. We will not waiver from our zero-tolerance posture towards criminal activity: from the traffic violator to the kidnapper, from the white-collar criminal to the drug trafficker, the message to the criminals is simple: you will be found and brought to justice and you will feel the full brunt of the law……’

The minister then indicated that government had allocated $4.1 billion to the Ministry of National Security in the 2009/2010 Budget, an increase of $263 million over the allocation in the previous budget. She then described some of the details of what the government is doing – the Offshore Patrol boats being built in England; the fast patrol boats being built in Australia; the helicopters being built in the US by the Italian company; buying new police cars and fixing back up others; upgrading the infrastructure of SAUTT; etc., etc.

All good news ent? YES!! Criminals go be on the run just now especially how Martin Joseph asking people to hold strain for just ah lil while longer until the effects of more pieces of the plan start kicking in like how yuh does have to wait quiet quiet for the Phensic you take for yuh migraine to start kicking in. Besides boats and helicopters and ting supposed to start reaching in 2010.

Well today the Chief Justice of Trinidad and Tobago drop ah bombshell that even if you are a die-hard PNM supporter and you are one of the many whose navel string buried in the backyard of their headquarters, you still have to raise a perplexed eyebrow and ask ‘…eh? wha he just say?’.

It was the opening of the new law term and in the usual speech given by the CJ, Archie (dat is his larse name eh so doh think me and he used tuh pitch marbles and I being impolite), CJ Archie say that the judiciary requested $349 million but received only $42.5 million. ‘….We will just do the best we can, as always, ….’ he say.

Now I fully expect that the Judiciary will receive supplementary allocations as the year progresses but still what kind of message on commitment is this sending, so, somebody answer my plaintive question:

How on God’s green earth can the government say, with a straight face, that it unwaivering in its zero-tolerance fight against crime and then turn around and offer the prosecutorial arm of this fight chump change? How? How? HOW?

The TTPS’s own statistics showed that for Jan thru Nov of 2008 it ‘solved’ 10.3% of murders reported. We can only speculate based on newspaper articles and anecdotal evidence how many of those suspects who go to trial actually get convicted. Police cannot stop someone from killing if they intent on doing so but I, no, we all do expect them to swing into action once a murder has occurred and and gather evidence that leads to identifying and arresting a suspect then present the evidence to the DPP who then takes the suspect to trial and… WINS THE CASE!! That is supposed to happen consistently, it is supposed to happen predictably, it is supposed to happen fairly and it is supposed to happen with an acceptable degree of speed. That process, from police involvement to jury decision, is the true deterrent. The police having to kill a few suspects who decide they would rather try and shoot their way out of being arrested, is lagniappe.

As it stands however, if you want to kill someone and get away with it, invite them to ah lime in Trinidad and kill them there. The odds of the police solving the murder is about 10% and if yuh ‘unlucky enough’ tuh get cyatch, remember tuh stare dong any eye-witness and they go get amnesia on the witness stand and you on the next plane out of T&T. Free. Just make sure is not no Trini-born US soldier you looking to kill.

Once I cool dong and mih blood pressure return tuh normalcy over this nonsense, I want someone from the government to say again about how serious the government is about crime, I go need ah good laugh. It go be a painfully sad laugh though, more like ah wail.

Unless the government come out and issue ah quick correction on dem numbers Archie give out. Unless.

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