Minister Martin Joseph should be sacked
You will probably not hear me say this very often but I agree with Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj on the issue of Martin Joseh's sacking.
Statistically, Martin Joseph has been the all time worst performing Minister of National Security in the history of Trinidad and Tobago. Already for this year there have been some 330 confirmed murders, which represents an increase of some 70% over the same period last year and last year was the worst year in our history.
There can be no justification for Martin Joseph to continue on in the office he now holds. His lame excuses and attempted defence on the increase in murders would have only been articulated by someone who has no respect for the intelligence of a sophisticated population such as ours.
He has managed to segment the murders into gang related, reprisals etc. and indicate that new initiatives such as the use of scientific tools like DNA evidence would allow him to reduce crime by 2020.
The first issue I take with his statement is this. How can anyone be able to identify the causes of each murder without even being aware of who committed it? This reminds me of the statements on knowing how many gangs were operating in T&T without the knowledge it would seem as to who were operating these gangs or where those operating these gangs could be found to be brought to justice. Another Mr. Big scenario.
With regards to his use of scientific methods, I wish to remind the Minister and the population that there had been calls for the use of DNA evidence in crime fighting since 2001/2002 by various people including myself, when the murder pattern now seen today was just being established. The Minister took 6 years to respond.
There continues to be call for the use of CCTVs to monitor the cities, villages and road network but the Minister does not yet see the value in this tool (or it may be that he does not know someone who supplies CCTVs). It may take another 6 years or another 2,500 murders.
This Minister loves to cite global trends to justify his failures, but as he looks towards developed status I will use the opportunity to point out that in the 12 month period to June 2008 there were 155 homicides in London (population 7.5 million or 6 times that of T&T). In the 12 month period to June 2007 there were 175 homicides. That means a decrease in homicides in 2008 over 2007 by 11.4%.
NOTE: homicides include murder, manslaughter and infanticide. Therefore the actual murder figure is much lower.
I use London because of the diversity in population and the many similarities in gang culture, drug trafficking, money laundering and increased gun use, to use examples like Switzerland would be unfair. Even so London has a more widespread drug culture in my view with strong opium, heroine, crack cocaine and cannabis trades that attract the attention of law enforcement agencies. YET, the homicide rate in London is not only falling, it is about 1/3 of what it is in T&T even with a population 6 times that of T&T.
I should alos point out that gun enabled crime in London is down over the same periods 16.1% from 3,200 for the 12 month period up to June 2007 to 2,684 for the 12 month period up to June 2008.
Another example that I believe would make for fair comparison is New York City. There have been approximately 305 murders in New York City for the year to date as opposed to approximately 296 for the same period in 2007 (I say approximately only because the figures are a couple days old). This represents a rise of some 3%. The population of New York City is approximately 6.5 times that of T&T and there can be little argument that New York City is still one of the most violent cities in the USA. There too can be found major international gangs such as the Russian, Italian, Irish and Chinese mafia and a proliferation of drugs and guns (that can be purchased freely). YET, even New York City have had less murders that T&T.
What we have in T&T is a Ministry of National Security that has seen its budget allocation quadruple over the last 6 years presiding over a population that if anything has decreased in size. YET murders have quadrupled over the same period.
Crime was significantly lower when there was significantly less money going to the Ministry of National Security, before the kidnapping bill was passed, before the change in the procedure in the appointment of the Police Commissioner and certainly before the appointment of this National Security Minister.
Will anybody take responsibility?
Garvin Nicholas (firstname.lastname@example.org; +447599806919)