Subhas calls on Griffith: Expose the shooters

For­mer min­is­ter in the Min­istry of Na­tion­al Se­cu­ri­ty Sub­has Pan­day is call­ing on Po­lice Com­mis­sion­er Gary Grif­fith to ex­pose the names of the 50 dan­ger­ous shoot­ers re­spon­si­ble for the rise in homi­cides in T&T.

At a press con­fer­ence held at his San Fer­nan­do of­fice yes­ter­day, Pan­day said peo­ple are be­ing shot dai­ly while the Com­mis­sion­er keeps the in­for­ma­tion on the shoot­ers a se­cret.

“It ap­pears that the more mon­ey we spend on Na­tion­al Se­cu­ri­ty with par­tic­u­lar ref­er­ence to crime solv­ing, the mur­der rate con­tin­ues to es­ca­late. This sit­u­a­tion is un­ten­able and it ap­pears that some­thing is not be­ing done right. It seems that throw­ing mon­ey alone in solv­ing crime is not work­ing,” Pan­day said.

He added that the truth ab­solves defama­tion so once there is cred­i­ble in­for­ma­tion to im­pli­cate the shoot­ers, they should be ex­posed.

“I call up­on him to re­lease the names, pho­tographs and ad­dress­es of these 50 crim­i­nals. Con­front them by putting up their names and pho­tographs in the elec­tron­ic and print me­dia. Take the fight to them, print posters with them and place them in not on­ly every po­lice sta­tion or the pro­tec­tive ser­vices but paste them in con­spic­u­ous places—in all gov­ern­ment build­ings and oth­er pub­lic places. Since you say you know the ad­dress­es stick it up in their vil­lages. One thing crim­i­nals don’t like is to be ex­posed and known, that’s why when they shoot they run. The vil­lagers then could do sur­veil­lance on the peo­ple and in­form the po­lice at no cost,” Pan­day said.

He not­ed that the posters should read, “He can kill you.”

Once ex­posed, Pan­day said the crim­i­nals could be coun­selled by fam­i­ly mem­bers and re­li­gious lead­ers to turn them away from their de­viant be­hav­iour be­fore an ex­pen­sive tri­al be­gins.

“This will be cost ef­fec­tive. It will pre­vent col­lat­er­al dam­age to in­no­cent mem­bers of the pub­lic. This aware­ness will cause peo­ple to avoid cer­tain ar­eas,” Pan­day said.

He added that some of these crim­i­nals be­have as up­right men in their vil­lages but mi­grate to oth­er ar­eas and com­mit their crimes un­de­tect­ed.

“When you stick up posters in their vil­lages, the vil­lagers will be­come aware of the shoot­ers liv­ing around them. This may act as a de­ter­rent to them,” he added.

Pan­day al­so said cam­eras can­not be placed on every lamp post on every street in a coun­try as a method of de­tec­tion nei­ther could there ever be a suf­fi­cient num­ber of po­lice of­fi­cers to deal with them.

“If the pop­u­la­tion is giv­en the rel­e­vant in­for­ma­tion about crim­i­nals then there is the pos­si­bil­i­ty of 2.6 mil­lion eyes through­out the coun­try on the look­out.

“Crime is every­body’s busi­ness and we must ad­vise the pop­u­la­tion to mind their busi­ness. There must be a col­lab­o­ra­tive ef­fort be­tween the pop­u­la­tion and the pro­tec­tive ser­vices in deal­ing with crime. Hav­ing giv­en the pop­u­la­tion the rel­e­vant in­for­ma­tion in­form­ing them that the man in that pho­to­graph can kill you and then they will be mo­ti­vat­ed to pro­tect their own lives and in­ter­est and to work with the po­lice to deal with him,” he said.

He al­so said that the pub­lic could call Gary di­rect­ly with the in­for­ma­tion.

Con­tact­ed for com­ment, Grif­fith said Pan­day was mis­in­formed.

“He does not un­der­stand that it is not that we can­not find the per­sons of in­ter­est. It is not a case or a need to ac­quire Boun­ty Hunters to find crim­i­nals who are on the run and hid­ing,” Grif­fith said.

Say­ing putting up posters would serve no pur­pose, Grif­fith said, “We know them. We know who they are. There is a dif­fer­ence be­tween the in­tel­li­gence of pin­point­ing a sus­pect to hav­ing ev­i­dence to have them ar­rest­ed. There is a dif­fer­ence. There is al­so no such thing as the per­fect crime.”

He said if any­one want­ed to help they could find the wit­ness­es to come for­ward.

“Many usu­al­ly see when it hap­pens but say noth­ing ei­ther due to fear of reprisal, or af­fil­i­a­tion with the same shoot­er. They refuse to talk and even pro­tect them, as they are seen as the Robin Hoods in the same com­mu­ni­ties that they tor­ment by killing young men in cold blood,” Grif­fith added.

Grif­fith has re­vealed that there are “over 50 shoot­ers linked to var­i­ous gangs” in this coun­try who are re­spon­si­ble for the “sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of ho­mi­cides, via gang ac­tiv­i­ty.”

He said this was the rea­son why the Bail Amend­ment Bill is a “crit­i­cal tool” in be­ing a strong de­ter­rent and en­sur­ing that when crim­i­nals are held they re­main be­hind bars.

Reporter: Radhica Sookraj

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