Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Trinidad and Tobago Call for Bounty Hunters

Opposition Leader Basdeo Panday says the time is right to introduce bounty hunters and establish watch groups in all communities to battle surging crime in the country. He also says the Opposition will help organize the people if the police cannot protect citizens.

Although his idea of bounty hunters was discarded some years ago, Panday believes the time is now right to reintroduce it in the hope that it will stem the increase in criminal activities.

Speaking at the UNC-A's weekly Monday Night Forum at the Orange Valley Community Facility, Panday said if the police cannot protect the citizens, then "we will have no alternative but to organise people to protect themselves".

He said villagers should devise a system to "observe strangers, mark them, take photos, follow them if necessary and notify others in the neighbourhood".

He referred to similar groups established by Tabaquite Member of Parliament Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj in his constituency.

Panday said villagers should "be able to close all roads, so that the criminals cannot run out".

He urged them to "do this in every village".

Panday, along with other UNC-A officials, met with Police Commissioner Trevor Paul and other senior officers recently to discuss the upsurge in crime.

On the issue of refusal by police to give some businessmen firearms to protect themselves, Panday said the police officials spoke about an appeal process for such a license.

He suggested that if anyone's application was refused, "you should tell us and we would raise it in Parliament and we shall bring judicial proceedings against the Commissioner in the courts if necessary". (PDM)

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