“We make no apology for that,” said Warner.
Warner made these comments yesterday while at his office on the corner of Richmond and London Streets, Port-of-Spain.
Warner said though there will be some inconvenience on various levels, citizens need to understand that this is for the benefit of the country.
He said some of his projects would be affected by the curfew, but it is a necessary sacrifice.
“I have drainage work taking place in the nighttime, work in Princes Town, La Brea and Point Fortin, but if we have to reschedule our work time so be it, that is the price we are willing to pay.”
He said no other government has taken the fight against crime to this level and though their actions may not be popular with all, Government is not apologising for what needs to be done.
“All before now, no other government had the guts to fight the criminals and this government has demonstrated such and we are not in any way attempting to apologise for doing what is right. Many times one may have to do what is needed even if it is not popular and if this is one such time, so be it.”
Warner added that many persons had been living on self imposed curfews due to the escalating crime but the government has now made it official with the hopes of bringing the country back to some sort of normalcy.
“ For over ten years persons were living in a self imposed curfew due to the crime, the government has made it official for a short time to get the country back to a normal state.”.
Warner said the Prime Minister had the full support of the cabinet and her government ministers. He said although there would be some negatives coming from this imposed curfew, the positives would out-weigh the negatives. He said he would like to extend his gratitude to the law abiding citizens who may be affected by the curfew.
Meanwhile the business community has also voiced their support for the limited state of emergency.
President of the Arima Business Association Peter Jackson said his members are in full support of the government’s initiative especially in light of the recent murders in Arima, which has made the borough a crime hotspot. Jackson said though he is yet to receive detailed information on the limited state of emergency and what it entails, he is in support of it. He said he hopes, that if the government does not succeed in their first attempt, they implement a nationwide state of emergency, since businesses and residents of Arima were “deeply tramautised” by the recent upsurge in crime in the area.
Four men were shot dead while liming at a parlour in Jonestown, Mausica Lands, Arima last Thursday.
Gregory Aboud, president of the Downtown Owners and Merchants Association said though he was in support of Government’s initiative against crime, he was concerned about the impact the imposed curfew hours would have on flights, operations in the city, food establishments and the entertainment industry. He said although the curfew would have a positive impact, it is more a mechanism to protect the state itself and not deal with the gangs and guns.
However, the Port-of-Spain Mayor Louis Lee-Sing has labelled Government’s initiative to fight crime as “draconian.” Lee-Sing said there are other measures and policies that Government could have utilised to fight crime. He said if the police target the leaders of these gangs then there would be no followers to carry out their criminal activities. He said the 9 pm to 5 am curfew would not cease the blatant daytime robberies and murders.