PM Declares “Limited State of Emergency”

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar has Announced a “Limited State of Emergency” in Crime Hotspots from Midnight

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-BissessarThe PM said that this decision was made “after much deliberation with the National Security Council and members of the Cabinet,” and that the current crime spree must end.

The limited state of emergency is part of a plan using the police and army in response to the “spate of murders over the past few days”.

The Prime Minister said she will meet with the Opposition in an attempt to deal with crime.

UPDATE: August 22, 2011

The Prime Minister’s Statement Relating to the Limited State of Emergency

The entire nation has been rocked with the recent tragic news of the spate of murders over the past few days. The situation has reached proportions which the government must respond to in the most definitive manner possible. I am advised that one of the causations for the spike in murders is ironically linked to the success by the police in the discovery of large drug hauls with values in excess of twenty million dollars in just one raid. These large sums of money simply do not disappear from the drug trade without consequences and in some of the cases now occurring, this is the result.

The question though isn’t just what is causing it but how do we deal with it?

As you know, we have deployed more financial and human resources than any government in recent time in dealing with the scourge of crime and until this recent upsurge the nation had been encouraged by the decline shown by year to years statistics. But a problem of this nature that has been the result of years of neglect will not disappear overnight and we reassess day by day each strategy deployed and how effective it is in achieving short term and long term objectives in reducing crime.

But the current crime spree dictates that more must be done and stronger action has to be employed now. The situation cannot continue like this without a response commensurate with the wanton acts of violence and lawlessness; it must be a response as well that will halt the current spike in gang activity and crime in general in the shortest possible time.

After much deliberation with the National Security Council and members of the Cabinet it has been agreed that the government consider the imposition of a limited state of emergency in hot spots across the country. Such a consideration must of course have the agreement of the President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, His Excellency, George Maxwell Richards and I will be meeting with him to discuss this matter.

The limited state of emergency will allow us to achieve a number of things in relation to crime reduction which would not be prudent for me to disclose in advance of the action taken. We are aware that such a decision will have an impact on the daily lives of innocent, law abiding citizens in these areas but I feel confident that they will recognise and appreciate the need to protect them and bring the current crime surge affecting them under control.

We have the will to tackle the crime problem in Trinidad and Tobago and the commitment to place every resource at our disposal towards waging and winning this war on crime.

We will succeed. The nation will not be held to ransom by marauding groups of thugs bent on creating havoc on our society. The limited state of emergency in hot spots across Trinidad and Tobago is merely part of a larger aggressive reaction response by the government.

As these measures are being deployed using both out police and military we ask all citizens to bear with the inconveniences that may arise from time to time. This is in everyone’s interest.

In fact, I intend to hold discussions with the Leader of the Opposition to seek his party’s support with certain legislative matters in Parliament. Trinidad and Tobago comes first. Nothing is more important than the right of each citizen to be protected and to enjoy a life of peace and tranquility.

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PM declares limited state of emergency
In an open declaration of war on crime, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar has announced the institution of a limited state of emergency in several areas deemed as crime hot spots, effective as off midnight last night.

State Of Emergency
PRIME MINISTER Kamla Persad-Bissessar last night declared a limited State of Emergency in “hot spots” across the country which took effect from midnight. Persad-Bissessar did not say where the State of Emergency’s regulations would apply or when they would cease, saying she would give more details today. However sources indicated that it should apply in several areas across the country.

Rowley: Govt in panic mode

Rowley: They ‘cut a sorry sight’
Asked if he agreed with the implementation of the limited state of emergency, Opposition Leader Keith Rowley said: “I don’t know what it means. It is limited to what, and to where.”

President’s proclamation

11 killed since Thursday

43 Responses to “PM Declares “Limited State of Emergency””


  • Trinidad has 43 murders per 100,000 population per year. Compare that to 15 for Mexico, 5 for the USA and 1.28 for the United Kingdom. The Opposition may see this as an opportunity to score political points and find new ways to bash the government, ignoring the fact that as a nation, we remain victims of an ongoing massacre, year after year. The shooting death of 12 year old Anisha Simon in the Simple Song panyard in 2005 should have been a signal to us that the murder situation had gone beyond any acceptable limit. Don’t forget the numerous ineffective crime plans of Martin Joseph and Howard “Anaconda” Chin Lee, and the VIP meetings with gang leaders, oops, commmunity leaders at Ambassador and Crowne Plaza.

    • Ravi, I am total agreement with you. I remember how the PNM took pleasure, they were beside themselves with joy, when they defeated “The Amendment to Capital Punishment Bill.” I believe that esentially the problem as it exists today rests squarely on the shoulders on the group of 12, known as the PNM. PNM is going to play politricks, with this Limited State Of Emergency, they are going to rally their ignorant supporters, led by Fitzgerald Hinds and SHOOT DOWN this measure.

  • Which means all the criminals from the ‘hot spots’ will now heat up the ‘cold spots’ Watch out trinidad crime will now spread all over Trinidad.

    • I agree with you Chinese mafia the “cold spots” will be the target for these criminals. Mr. Tim please get rid of these harsh and selfish teachers who are destroying children minds and forcing them into a world of crime. We have to target the root souce for the increase of crime.

  • i wish to ask what are the criteria for searches and aprehension of anyone.
    my main concern is that law abiding ciizens dont be victimised in any way
    i personally thik this is long overdue but their must have proper guidelines for this state of emergency, so as to law abiding cititizens will not be terrorised, victimised, and even feel threatened in any way because many people i know dont trust the police and some cases the army so we need proper guidelines to follow as citizens where searches and arrests and seasures are concerned.

    concerned citizen

  • This government came into power promising a reduction in serious crimes within 100 days.It’s been FIFTEEN months and we are now faced with a limited state of emergency.

    In my humble opinion they have FAILED just as chin lee and martin joseph.
    Our borders are less secure than 15 months ago.Shouldn’t we expect a proliferation of arms ammunition and drugs?
    SOMEBODY DOES NOT WANT THIS CRIME SITUATION ABATED.I GUESS CRIME PAYS.

  • This is an excellent move by the Gov’t which was long overdue.The crime wave must be broken and guns removed from the hands of lawless persons.

  • Utter rubbish, this move by the PP shows that they have no idea what really causes crime. what would we do have a permanent state of emergency? As soon as it is lifted it would be more crime because they would now try to make up for time lost. The real solution is never force

    • And you know what REALLY causes crime? Enlighten us, tell us your proposed measure. Let’s see if it hasn’t been tried. You sound like Rowley. Ready to shoot down and discredit ANY attempt to improve the crime situation.

      At least they aren’t politricking with “community leaders” at lavish dinnertime meetings at the public’s expense.

      • Now that this “State Of Emergency” has been decleared it is now left to the security forces to go into these “so called”hot spots and find those guns which is comming into the country.It is widely known to all & sundry that these guns and ammo are landing here under the guise of “imported goods”. The Customs Department must find the importers and deal with them more effectively,reguardless of “who” they are. When the guns and ammo runs out, the random shootings will stop.Remember, the man on the street with one gun and one bullet is NOT the person we are looking for. we are looking for the suppliers of these guns, who we should put away.

        • Well said. Couldn’t agree more. These “so called” imported goods that are poisoning our country must be examined with a more scrutinized eye. Same goes for these fishing boats always seen off the coast.

  • Pastor cuffie anoint the Prime Minister again. It did not work. Pastors who anointed her to be Prime Minister to help deal with the crime. Pour a gallon of oil now.

  • Kamla wants to meet with the same opposition (PNM).Did she not say they did not have a plan to deal with crime.When you are desperate you will do anything.Kamla must turn around to eat her own vomit.To late to late shall be your cry Kamla,before you came into power you said you had a plan to fight crime where is it the only plan you had was to get Manning out of power.You put yourself in quick sand.

    • She, like all governments, require support of the opposition in certain LEGISLATIVE matters – just as she said. Just like the former PNM did. It’s one of the checks and balances of governance.

      Know you stuff and come good. Pur-leaze.

  • Let’s be postive – this plan just might be the plan to curb this senseless violence. The Government is making an attempt to curb this terrible situation – it is better than nothing!

    • well put — you will not know if something works until you try it. The state of this country call for action an not just small talk,so let us rally around our country and support in any litte way that we can– action speaks louder than words !

  • quote: “A state of emergency is a governmental declaration that may suspend some normal functions of the executive, legislative and judicial powers, alert citizens to change their normal behaviours, or order government agencies to implement emergency preparedness plans. It can also be used as a rationale for suspending rights and freedoms, even if guaranteed under the constitution. Such declarations usually come during a time of natural or man made disaster, during periods of civil unrest, or following a declaration of war or situation of international or internal armed conflict. Justitium is its equivalent in Roman law.
    In some countries, the state of emergency and its effects on human rights and freedoms and governmental procedure are regulated by the constitution and/or a law that limits the powers that may be invoked. Rights and freedoms may be suspended during an emergency, for instance, freedom of movement, but not non-derogable rights.[1] In many countries it is illegal to modify the emergency law or the constitution during the emergency.”

    In the United Kingdom, the Monarch, the Privy Council, or the Prime Minister can make emergency regulations under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 if there is a serious threat to human welfare, the environment, or in case of war or terrorism. These regulations last for seven days unless confirmed otherwise by Parliament. A state of emergency was last invoked in 1974 by Prime Minister Edward Heath in response to increasing industrial action.”

    end

  • Satan can’t correct sin.Politition,Police,Pundit,Priest. etc. to a certain degree, are guilty of very serious crimes.When the Elite do their crimes;the people are robbed of millions.Bigboys seldom ever pay for their crimes;some are allowed to leave, other can go to d Privy Council at will.The small man see how dem big time thieves thriving; so he try a thing.( If the priest could play who is me)Imagine a pr. of Sneakers cost $1000.00 and Schoolboy Mom working in store/KFC for $300.00.See where this can lead to.All that was said about the wrong doings($30,000,000.00 with the Church in the Heights Of Guanapo,is only 2 small timers were charged and convicted.As a Nation we have created this Criminal sociey that we have today through greed and selfishness.They blaming the youths;but beleive me they won’t born bad;our society has created them.With fathers of the Nation like panday and manning what do you expect from d children.

  • IT IS REALLY SURPRISING HOW OUR PEOPLE ARE THINKING. FOR FIFTTEN MONTHS THE PP GOVT GAVE THE POLICE EVERY OPPORTUNITY TO DEAL WITH CRIME AND CRIMINALS. THEY DID NOT.THE TIME HAS COME FOR MORE SERIOUS ACTION. PEOPLE MUST FEEL SAFE. WE MUST NOT HAVE 500 CRIMINALS HOLDING THE COUNTRY TO RANSOM. GET THEM NOW! THERE ARE THOSE WHO WILL PLEAD HUMAN RIGHTS. HOW ABOUT TEH HUMAN RIGHTS OF TEH MAJORITY OF DECENT CITIZENS IN THIS COUNTRY. BESIDES HAVE YOU NOTICED THAT EVERYTIME THERE IS A FIRE THERE ARE PNM MP’S PRESENT ARE THEY STOKING THE FIRES. ARE THEY ENCOURAGING THE CRIMINALS. GO FOR IT KAMLA. THIS COUNTRY NEEDED STRONG ACTIUON A LONG TIME AGO.

    • Yeah Chandra. In addition to saddling them with an overpaid, clueless Canadian Chief, and holding on to dem jokey London, Scotland yard Starboys, let dem fire the entire African section of our Police Service, and start a new recruitment drive , with local Syrians, Chinese , Westmooring , and Maraval French Creoles.Did I forget anyone Chandra?
      Oh yes,hire for 1million rupees per person , 5000 Pakistanis , 5000 Indians, 3000 Bangladeshi ,3000 Sri Lankan Tamils , 3000 special Jagdeo ,handpick Guyanese law officials, place them all in uniform ,and so solve our entire criminal problem.
      While we are on it, rent a few large ships from Europe, den they can round up all dem useless criminal minded Afrikans , we unfortunately possess as citizens , and drive them out of the land of the humming bird for good. As for Tobago? They can get independence in the morning, as long as they demand no compensations ,for some 49 years of neglect, due to cross race , and party ,neo tribal wars, in big brother Trinidad.
      Yet some wonder why democracy in these calaloo type countries, are rift with challenges.
      Seriously , what should we do with the likes of CHANDRA, as he tries to step back in de land of the Free ,aka T&T , for the first time ,since escaping from the Basdeo, Robbie, Sudama, Karl, Tabla head,Ralph Maraj, Rambachan, Dookie, and Ramnath NAR regime, in 1986, under false premise?
      I know ban him for life , and in addition, sentence him to live in much safer Guyana , for the rest of his days.

  • i will like 2 know, will this affect the ferry service from trinidad to tobago in the morning??

    • Tracyann, you guys on the Island Ward got to wake up and make demands on these folks that help keep Tobago down, and by extension limited our Twin Island’s full developmental potential.
      This is what Canadians are doing with their American neighbors , as they can see the true economic benefit for all concerned.
      http://www.dailypress.net/page/content.detail/id/528489/Canada-wants-to-build-new-bridge-to-Michigan.html?nav=5003
      We in T&T , are denouncing and disrespecting our own, by paying foreign individual , so called Police experts exorbitant salaries, to overseer ,already disgruntled security law enforcement officials , then are surprise that crime is on the increase.
      Your government has done absolutely narda ,to reign in those greedy, selfish, business class owners , with their weapons , and drug ladened containers.
      They however, due to political motivation has stymied every security initiative in place ,including already paid for , drug interdiction tankers, then are crying, as drug lords , laugh all the way to the bank , while using innocent citizens for target practice.
      They have removed competent, none partizan ,local law officials, from positions of authority, then replace them with clueless cronies, and yet citizens , think that’s the change we need.
      Some claimed that our intelligence community is in shambles, but we won’t speculate as to why, and when this occurred.
      Hey tracyann, don’t worry , it would be lifted by the time your carnival comes aroung, dengue fever and all. What a people these Trinis are! No wonder dey remain the laughing stock of the entire Caribbean, and maybe the world.

  • people in this country are very bias…..when the PNM was in government nothing was been said or done but as soon as the PP come into government these ungrateful people are critising them ……the Pnm should have stayed and let all of them suffer more……
    some are making a comparison with trinidad and guyan ,,,,how ignorant are those people ,,have they done their research about guyana ,,,,that country has appro.450,000 people as to trinidad has 1.4 million so how could one make that comparison….!!!!!!

  • more police and equiptment will not stop crime it will only deal with it as it already exists. Much needed community and police communication ,if u dont trust the police u wont report a crime .first i beleive they need to clean up the corupted officers .u have to change the minds of the criminals ,how do we do that ,more severe punishment for serious crimes ,u wont take the chance if u know what happen to the last one who did what u are about to do.family is the most important factor to solve crime before it even reaches the minds of the idol .u dont have a father and a mother who dont cares where u are ,u are going to join a gang to get the love they require blood brothers for life and u can only leave when your 6 feet under .education and extra activity should be made available for all and if u dont want to partake c.c.c or scouts

  • All to avoid civil unrest due to industrial action, not human rights. Agreed the crime must be addressed, totally. However, just this morning Moonilal said no need for the very said state of emergency. What is really happening? Let us not be emotional but objective. This move will stop the labour movement in their tracks first and foremost before it addresses any criminal elements!

  • Incorrect Ranfar, Guyana has a population of 750,000 (3/4 of a million).

  • I know the Gov’t is looking for ways & solutions to curb crime,i would just like to know the hours for this venture cause i’m a parent,a shift worker.My job is my only source of income,so i’ll need to know from 12 midnight to what time?

  • Shame,shame,shame! A country with a population the same as streets in certain parts of India and africa, yet the crime rate is one of the worst – if not- in the world. One thing for sure, if the will(politicial) is there; there ia a way.

    This should be the new dawn for T&T! There ought to be a no tolerance policy – on corruption at all levels of the society. Kamla, you need a top down, bottom up, sideways strategy and hold all the buggers accountable. When the buggers don’t deliver – get rid! Simple.

  • For any Prime Minister in the world to impose a limited state of emergency because of the crime situation, they must believe that it has to be out of control and of course too much for the police to handle. The simple fact that she gave a statement indicating that the state of emergency was in effect from midnight but still could not give details of the curfew hours shows the inability and unprepared nature of the goverment.

    So to say that Martin Joseph failed is not really the matter because we all know he failed. The simple fact is that the Partnership Gov’t Campaigned on the ineffectiveness of the previous gov’t and were give a mandate by the people of Trinidad and tobago,including myself, to make a change. This has not happened. And what is scary is that they are a reactive govt rather than Proactive.

    I wonder if, with our economic situation being as it is, if the Kamla led Gov’t thought about the implications of this action.

    I think that Patrick Manning played a master stroke…..get out before the shit hit the fan.

  • At present as a nation we are not united in the common cause of dealing with lawlessness.
    This is not the time for political in-differences.
    A bullet or a cutlass has no potency until the user provides one.
    Outside of TnT there are other nations who are benefiting immensely from this current state of affairs.
    When you attend a funeral of a loved one then you will know the true cost of failing to unite against the common cause.
    Tourism benefits the whole economy.Why would anyone visit our islands now?
    Can we afford to shoot ourselves in the foot and become like crabs in a barrel.
    Complaints are easy to make.What are you doing as an individual to provide the solution.When you are pointing a finger three are pointing back at you.Pull back the finger and empower yourself as it forms a fist . Lets look to him for guidance.

  • I think what we all need to do is to pray . I live in Boston and it hurts to see what is going in in my country.my God bless you all and keep you all safe..

  • This country is now reaping the problems that William and Manning created by bringing all those low lives from all over the other Islands into Trinidad. They brought in thousands to support them and this is the main result.
    Now Kamla and her team in office for just one year and have to clean up all the nastiness these people caused all those years but TO CLEAN SHE WILL CLEAN AND WHO VEX, TO BAD.

    • I totally agree with this!!!!

    • To quote ranfar, and Blue mountain ,”…some are making a comparison with trinidad and guyan ,,,,how ignorant are those people ,,have they done their research about guyana ,,,,that country has appro.450,000/ 750,000 people as to trinidad has 1.4 million so how could one make that comparison?”
      Guess what guys 500,000 migrated to Sweet, Sweet, T&T ,aka Rainbow country over the past 2 years Queen K , and her PP regime assume office.
      Hey Glen , it is not only dem low life from the small island that are causing the problem, but dem also from good old Jagdeo abused Guyana, ennnt? All therefore have dirty hands.

  • Glenn, read what you have written. People all over the world migrate. Even TT citizens of all races and classes migrate. What make you think that is the small islanders causes all the problem. I live in the US. Millions of migrants(mostly Mexican) come in and they work. They breaking the US law and they working for ah food. Are you concern that in the TT case they are mostly of African descent? If it was mostly Venezuelans and Dominicans would you have such concerns.

  • My concerns are that these people are only there to make quick money, if it means committing crimes and moving back to their Island. Look at the areas that are STINK UP in Trinidad? Remember when these people first came and where they lived? going to work in town and having to pass in these areas made me sick. The government provided them with jobs and built houses for them but they remain living like animals. Are these people human being?

  • Good move by the Prime Minister. With drugs being the primary motivation for serial killers on the loose, the only option is a state of emergency. Anyone caught out after 9:00 p.m. should be shot no questions asked.

  • Honestly, a limited state of emergency makes absolutely no sense, since it will also afect the lives of the innocent law abiding citizens. If this is the PP’s plan, well its clear that they dont have much going for them. They are claiming that they know the hot spots, so then why dont they just deploy police and the army in those areas? What is the purpose of forcing everyone in doors, will people be compensated for lost of wages, will people be reimbursed for arrangements already made, will the innocent have to put their studies on hold??? Also, do we want the Army having the power to arrest and interrogate? Clearly they are not trained for that…they already abuse their power whenever they can, you put more power in their hands and what do you think will be the outcome. Sandy, is a man of war, he is trained in the military, and so his “suggestion” of a curfew only benefits the army, since the law states that in a state of emergency, the army has the power. Instead of doing their jobs and hunting out the criminals, and protecting the innocent, their suggestion is to lock them in doors. Any educated person can tell that this task will only benefit the police, since now, there is less work for them to do, and anyone seen outside will be arrested and treated like a criminal, detained for seven days. THINK T & T, is this what we want, we voted for change, but we expected a change for the better, do you feel that we are in a better position today? Comissioner GIBBS, do your job, instead of driving around all day in a million dollar 7 series paid for by our hard earned money, the only time you are seen or heard is at functions. Put race and party aside people, is this what you want? Where is Mr. Mc Leod, the honorable Minister, forced to be quite because he knows of the injustice of the salary cap for hard working citizens, while politicians treats themselves to a 22% increase and inflation has increased by nearly 30%. Is this what you want? I honestly dont care who is in power, i care for my country and my people, I voted for an upward change, do we feel that we are going there? A wise man once said, be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.

    • I AGREE WITH THIS COMMENT. A LIMITED STATE OF EMERGENCY IN CERTAIN HOT SPOTS WILL ONLY AFFECT THE INNOCENT. WE NEED TO SEE MORE POLICE IN THESE AREAS, THAT IS WHAT WILL WORK. THERE ARE SO MUCH POLICE EMPLOYED, YET AT NIGHT TIMES YOU CAN NEVER SEE ANY, WHILE THE POLICE STATIONS ARE CLOSED AND IN DARKNESS. COME ON KAMLA, LOOK INTO THAT PLEASE, PEOPLE NEED TO LIVE, WE HAVE LIVES THAT WE NEED TO CARRY ON, WE PAY OUR TAXES TO BE ABLE TO BE PROTECTED AND TO LIVE A COMFORTABLE LIFE, NOT TO BE FORCED IN DOORS. THE BIG MEN BEHIND THE CRIMES DONT LIVE IN HOT SPOTS, TEY LIVE IN THE BIG SHOT AREAS, LIKE GLENCOE, GULF VIEW, VALSAYN. STOP FOCUSING SOLEY ON THE PETTY CRIMINALS, TARGET THE BIG BOYS AS WELL.

  • I don’t think any government can change this country. There will always be gangs and violence and those who feel they can do what they want. Gang leaders and “guntas” are like hydras… You shoot one head 2 more spring up. In order for any progress those involved need to make a change themselves. There are a lot of programs going on in jails etc that bring about changes and few prisoners. But with the amount coming in and the amount not getting apprehended its not getting chance to make a dent. And then sometimes when people are released from jail they aren’t given many opportunities thus causing then to revert to their past.. idk that’s just my opinion

  • Why point fingers. What we should do is come together and put there heads together to see how they can fix the problem to much politics that is what killing the country

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