Shame on T&T…
This is a deplorable situation to be in.
This amount of cases to be heard through a court system that is at best failing but at worst inflicting human rights abuses on the alleged suspects and victims.
This report comes from todays newsday but highlights that even under the old PNM regime Trinidad & Tobago was starting to get better.
Now as we count the latest murder for the year at 102 we are looking now to see if this country will EVER become the peaceful haven it should be or are the people at the top just in it for the money (silly question I know)…
Now other countries have been supplying expertise to the government for years and what has become of that? Well, for one reason or another Trinidad & Tobago have chosen not to listen (the politics of that is for another time) BUT it is now up to the people of Trinidad & Tobago to “PULL YOUR FINGER OUT” because this country will never, ever get better, in fact it is heading to become worse that Jamaica and some areas of South Africa. All because you let the politicians have their money and run. You might say you have no choice but to let them run it, well you do have a choice, the same as those in Egypt, Yemen, Libya and all those other countries who have suddenly found real democracy. Now don’t get me wrong I am NOT calling for revolution or armed men to roam the streets, Trinidad is not there yet… But imagine if the whole country came to a standstill… every many jack, stood up at the same time and said, “Enough is Enough”. it would show the politicians that the public ARE worried about crime and want the leaders to do something about it.
I mean, why on earth build a school for the Shouter baptists when the Police Force is so under funded? Why give 4 million dollars to a singer for a competition he only entered because he had the chance to win TT$4m when that could have been spent on crime fighting, or the supply of water to homes, or paving roads… fair enough its not enough money to complete those projects, BUT ITS A START!
22,000 drug, gun cases pending
By ANDRE BAGOO in the Newsday newspaper on Wednesday, March 30 2011
In written answers to oral questions filed by Senate Opposition Chief Whip Pennelope Beckles-Robinson, Ramlogan however also disclosed that the total number of cases could not yet be ascertained, due to an archaic records system as well as “tardiness” on the part of the Police Service.
Ramlogan noted that for the period January, 2005 to December 2010, current available records indicate that there were 31,773 cases, 21,902 of which were still pending as at December, 2010.
Of the total cases for that period, 27,656 were drug-related: involving the possession, trafficking, cultivating, importing and exporting of a dangerous drug. Of these, 9,570 (or only 35 percent) were completed by December 2010, leaving 18,086 pending.
The other cases – involving strict firearms charges for the possession of firearms and ammunition – totalled at least 4,117. A total of 3,816 of these were still pending as at December, 2010, according to records.
However, actual figures are likely to be higher due to problems in accessing current records, according to the written note circulated to Senators yesterday at Ramlogan’s request.
“The Trinidad and Tobago Police Service has advised of a number of challenges that make the provision of the data required ‘difficult’ for a comprehensive response to this Parliamentary question,” the note read. “Key among these is the fact that the information storage system within the Judiciary is not fully computerised. As a result, the Police Service must source the information manually in order to keep the police records updated. Officers are therefore required to extract the necessary data and supply it for input.”
“Due to the tardiness of the officers, however, there are usually delays in inputting the information, and therefore difficulty in maintaining current records,” the note read.
The circulation of the note yesterday was the culmination of heated verbal sparring in the Chamber yesterday between the Government and Opposition benches over the timing of the answering of the question.
The Parliament question had been asked of the Minister of Justice, Herbert Volney, a member of the House of Representatives. Ramlogan was due to appear in the Senate at the beginning of question time to answer on Volney’s behalf, but was reportedly detained by a function at his offices on St Vincent Street, Port-of-Spain.
At the start of question time, Senate Leader of Government Business, Subhas Panday, proposed to Senate President Timothy Hamel-Smith that the answer be taken later in the sitting at any time before 2.15 pm (the time beyond which questions cannot be asked according to the Standing Orders). The Senate President put the matter to the house and Government Senators voted for the deferral.
While Health Minister Therese Baptiste-Cornelis was contributing to debate on a data protection bill that was pending before the house, the Attorney General arrived in the Chamber but then left two minutes later.
When Ramlogan returned to the Chamber, only two minutes for question time remained and George – acting for Leader of Government Business in the Senate Subhas Panday who left the Chamber briefly – asked for a deferral to the next sitting. This provoked outrage from PNM Senator Fitzgerald Hinds who argued that it was tantamount to a deception since the Government had indicated that the answer to the question was ready earlier.
Ramlogan then explained that there was not enough time to read out the answer to the question. He then promised to circulate the written text of the answer to Senators before 3 pm.
The answers were circulated at 2.58 pm. No senator proposed a suspension of the Standing Orders to allow the question to be answered beyond the 2.15 pm limit.
And the same story in a different newspaper paints the same story with different figures…
AG: Over 18,000 drug cases before courts
There were 18,086 drug-related cases pending before the courts of Trinidad and Tobago as at December 31, 2010, Attorney General Anand Ramlogan has indicated. He also revealed yesterday that there were 3,816 firearms-related cases before the courts.
He was responding to a question from PNM Senator Pennelope Beckles-Robinson, who had asked how many drug-related offences were presently before the courts.
The Attorney General said at this point in time, he was only able to provide data on persons who were charged with drug-related offences between January 1, 2005 and December 31, 2010, whose cases, as at December 31, 2010, were pending before the courts.
He said, according to police records, between January 2005 and December 2010, there were 27,656 narcotics-related cases before courts. Of those cases, 9,570 (or 35 per cent) were completed as at December 31, 2010, leaving a balance of 18,086 cases pending before the courts.
On the issue of firearms-related cases, Ramlogan said while firearms were used in perpetrating crimes such as rape and housebreaking, firearms-related offences were defined strictly as offences involving possession of firearms and ammunition.
According to police records, between January 2005 and December 2010, there were 4,117 firearms-related cases before the courts. Of those cases, 301 were completed as at December 31, 2010, leaving a balance of 3,816 cases pending.
Ramlogan said the Police Service had advised of a number of challenges that make the provision of the data required for a comprehensive response to the two questions difficult. He said key among these was the fact that the information storage system within the judiciary was not fully computerised.
“As a result, the Police Service must source the information manually in order to keep the police record updates. Officers are therefore required to extract the necessary data and supply it for input. Due to the tardiness of the officers, however, there are usually delays in inputting the information and therefore difficulty in maintaining current records,” he said.
The answer to the two questions was given in writing, even though they were filed for oral response. That was because the Attorney General was delayed “at an LRC (Legislative Review Committee) meeting”, Government leader Subhas Panday explained.
In response to a question from the PNM’s Fitzgerald Hinds, Panday had promised that Ramlogan would be in the Senate by 2.15 p.m. to answer the questions. But when Ramlogan came, acting Leader of Government Business Emmanuel George asked that the answer be deferred for the next sitting.
Hinds protested loudly, telling Senate President Timothy Hamel-Smith that before his very eyes, the Government’s “deception, dishonesty and penchant for misleading” was evident. He said the word of a minister must count for something and the Parliament was witnessing a usual manifestation of Government’s dishonesty.
Hamel-Smith said he was sure that the Senator (Panday) was mistaken (when he gave Hinds the undertaking that the question would be answered before 2.15 p.m.
The Attorney General said the answer was ready, but in the interest of time and efficient management of Parliament, Government decided not to read orally the answer. He said he had no difficulty circulating the answers before 3 p.m. And this was indeed done.