11 Feb Sen Lambert Brown To The State of The Nation Debate
CRIME OUT OF CONTROL – This administration assumed responsibility for Government on the express declaration of then Leader of the Opposition “that If you want to live safe in your yard, if you want to be able to fall asleep and left you door open and wake up in the morning and still be alive you cannot make the mistake of …..” not voting for his party. That statement was made in February of last year just before the General Election. Data from the Police revealed that at the end of February last year there were one hundred and fifty-three (153) murders for the first two (2) months of the year. That amounted to an average of seventy-seven (77) murders per month. That was, for me, still high, but a definite reduction from the year before. In fact it represented a sixteen percent (16%) reduction over the same period in 2015.
The rate of murders was coming down. It was heading in the right direction. Shooting was down twenty-one percent (21%), rape down forty-two percent (42%) and assault down forty percent (40%).
Generally, major crime was down twenty-seven percent (27%), relative to the first two months of 2015. That was the relatively positive and improving platform upon which this administration assumed government. Sadly, by May 2016, early signs of slippage in the fight against crime were evident. Data from the police showed that instead of a sixteen percent (16%) reduction in murders we now had only five percent (5%). Instead of twenty-seven percent (27%) reduction in serious crime we were down to eleven percent (11%).
How did the Government respond to the early signs of slippage? The Prime Minister took to Social Media at 4:29p.m. on May 16, to tweet that “…we are happy for a five (5%) reduction in murders and greater reductions in other crimes.” Clearly this was not a time to be happy. I warned then, that the approach of the Prime Minister was wrong, but this administration seems to listen only to their own voices. This was a time for a serious crime fighting plan to restore the gains inherited from the previous Government.
Instead of a serious crime plan what did we get? The police were told to wear condoms. The country was told that the budget of the Ministry of National Security should no longer be published as part of the annual budget exercise. Minister Montague assured us that the $432 million in the budget for the purchase of vehicles for the police would be used to buy second hand cars. That $432 million could buy 100 new cars. Where are the vehicles for the police? What has become of the $432 million?
A young student on his way to Excelsior High School was robbed. His school books, lunch money, bus fare and even his eye glasses were stolen. When the matter was reported to the Stadium Police there was no vehicle to go chase the brazen criminals. Where are the second hand vehicles?
The government is failing the taxpayers in the fight against crime. The search for cheapness has turned out to be very expensive. We seem to be penny wise and pound foolish.