In answer to a question filed in the Senate by PNM Senator Fitzgerald Hinds, Sandy said reported kidnappings from June to December 8, 2010 numbered 50. A breakdown of this figure, presented in Parliament yesterday, noted that there were 11 reported kidnappings in June; eight in July; six in August; eight in September; eight in October and nine in November. There were no reported kidnappings up to December 8. The minister did not provide figures for prior to June.
“The statistical data reveals that with the exception of June 2010, there was an overall pattern of decrease in the number of serious crimes reported during the period June to November, 2010, when compared with the corresponding period in 2009,” Sandy said. “In total, there was a fourteen percent decrease in reported serious crimes during the 2010 period under review.”
However, Sandy said he remains dissatisfied with the current levels of crime. He noted that serious crimes for the period totalled 9,757. “Notwithstanding the encouraging movement, the Police and the People’s Partnership Government continue to view the existing level of crime as unacceptable,” Sandy said. The Minister of National Security said between June 2010 and December 8, 2010, there were 232 reported murders; 294 “woundings and shootings”; 396 sexual offences; 2,440 burglaries and break-ins; 2,569 robberies; 96 fraud offences; 2,032 “general” larcenies; 656 car thefts; and 251 narcotic offences, among others.
Asked in a supplemental question by Hinds if he was shocked by the crime statistics, Sandy said, “I am as shocked as you are and I remain as shocked as I was over the past five years.” Sandy said the police will introduce increased cordon and search operations in “crime-prone” areas; usher in increased working hours “for stipulated periods” and forge “new partnerships” with private security companies.
In relation to the Special Anti-Crime Unit of Trinidad and Tobago (SAUTT), which was the subject of another question by Hinds, Sandy said a Cabinet review of a report on the future of SAUTT was still ongoing. Of the “airship” or “blimp”, Sandy said, “while the airship has been grounded for repairs, SAUTT’s other aerial assets have been utilised in providing aerial and logistical support to the National Security Council and operational support to the Police Service.”