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Saturday 20 January 2018

Jack wants $4B to fight crime

NATIONAL Security Minister Jack Warner is “keeping my fingers crossed”, that his request for $4.2 billion would be granted by Finance Minister Larry Howai, in next Monday’s 2012/2013 National Budget as his Ministry moves into high gear in the fight against crime.

Speaking at the commissioning ceremony of the Vishnu Boys’ Hindu College Cadet Unit at the school compound in Caroni, Warner revealed that Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar would receive his 78-point crime plan at last night’s meeting of the National Security Council, of which she chairs.

Asked of his expectations in the Budget, Warner said, “I am asking for a little more than $4.2 billion to clear up my project. I don’t know what I will get but if I get even close to that, I will be able to do enough to fight crime.”

Asked if the most direct measures would depend on budgetary allocations, Warner said, “most definitely. You will see that we are buying some more boats to patrol our shores, we are having more police stations built, we are having a host of things and if we implement these measures, even half of them, this country should be safer.”

Warner, who is also chairman of the United National Congress (UNC) — the major party in the Peoples Partnership — said Saturday’s pre-budget rally would feature addresses by every government Minister, the Minister of Finance as well as the Prime Minister.

“For me particularly, I have to answer (Opposition Leader Dr Keith) Rowley who believes that everybody afraid of him. He believes he is the only raging bull but I am telling him he is not the only raging bull it have,” Warner said. Commenting on convalescing San Fernando East MP and former PNM leader Patrick Manning’s thoughts on the PNM’s vote of ‘yes’ for the controversial Section 34 as part of the Administration of Justice (Indictable Proceedings) Act — which has since been repealed — Warner said what Manning was really saying was that Rowley should own up and accept blame.

“Manning was telling Rowley, ‘stop playing the fool and take your blame as a big man. You too are culpable as anybody else (in Parliament who voted)’ and I think Mr Manning has to be commended so even on his sick bed, he shows he has more sense than Rowley.”

Also addressing the ceremony was TT Cadet Force Commandant Patrick Taylor, who praised the young cadets, saying the three lance corporals, 14 privates and 20 recruits could look forward to training not only in the infantry but in aviation, naval and ancillary training as the TTCF’s base had expanded to include these disciplines.


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