National Security gets $4.7B

In the 2007/2008 budget, $4.4 billion went to the Ministry of National Security. In her first ever Budget presentation, a confident Nunez-Tesheira announced that her government is doing all to reduce crime.

“The police embarked on the newly adopted service orientation. This approach of policing for the people will assist in the war against crime, by improving work habits, morale and quality of service and enhanced public perception and interaction with the police,” she noted.

She added that the initiative “Policing for the People” was piloted in 2007, in five model stations. This will be extended to the Belmont, Marabella, Pt Fortin, Mayaro and Crown Point police stations.

She also announced that 450 police officers have been trained in community policing and can respond effectively to any distress calls from members of the public. “In the first quarter of 2007 and the first quarter of 2008, all five model stations registered a decline in crime ranging from 21 percent to 35 percent,” the Finance Minister boasted.

She maintained that the public will over time increase its trust and willingness to work with the police.

Responding to the $4.7B package for National Security, President of the Police Social and Welfare Association, Cpl Emrol Bruce said: “for yet another year the police have been overlooked in a significant way in preference to others.” He added that while it was all well and good for the Minister to talk about the successful initiatives of the police service, no mention was made of plans to increase manpower in the service and deal with the current manpower crisis which exists.

He is also hoping the confirmation of the three deputy commissioners will be made shortly and government announce within a reasonable time when they will be recruiting a new Commissioner of Police.

Cpl Bruce said that while it is all well and good to praise the efforts of the Special Anti Crime Unit, (SAUTT) the police service should also be given the same amount of resources and manpower to deal effectively with crime.

Chief of Defence Staff Brigadier Edmund Dillon said that he was in a meeting and will be reviewing the budget today. In fiscal year 2009, the Coast Guard received an allocation of $400 million.

A Marine Ship Safety and Port Security Unit will be set up to ensure the safety and security of ships and property; completion of maintenance of two coast guard vessels; the construction of quarters to house 50 officers and upgrade a sewer treatment plant at Staubles Bay.

Provision is also made for the procurement of six high speed interceptors at a cost of $18 million. Approximately $39 million will be provided to the Defence Force for the infrastructure modernisation and human resource development.

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"National Security gets $4.7B"

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