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Stephen Cadiz: We are not going anywhere

Chairman of the Keith Noel 136 Committee, Stephen Cadiz, said yesterday that his committee was not going to go away until the crime situation was brought under control.

"We are not going away until the crime problem is solved, we are going absolutely nowhere, we will not disappear," he said in a telephone interview.

Cadiz’ committee was responsible for organising Saturday’s Death March through Port-of-Spain which attracted thousands of people.

"They have to solve the problem. Something very tangible has to be done," he said.

The committee, Cadiz said, had hoped that its petition and yesterday’s march would spur the Government to action.

"There is no encouragement from the Government to fix the problem. None."

He said the committee will meet this week to decide its next move and "they may have to take it to the next level" but vowed not to go away. He did not say what that next level would be.

"Since the march, no action, after the petition, no action," he said, noting that he wondered if the authorities had not heard or seen what was going on for the last five months.

He said if that was the case, "then we are back to square one."

Cadiz said he heard the Junior Minister in the Ministry of National Security, Fitzgerald Hinds, during a morning radio interview talking about family values and education and outlining how the Government was trying to deal with crime.

"I don’t think the Government knows exactly what they have to do," Cadiz said in an interview.

While family values and education were relevant, Cadiz said he felt that dealing with these were long- term plans.

"TT needs an immediate solution to the killings. You have to deal with the murders right now.

Today. The Government fails to realise that is the main issue," he said.

He said the drugs and guns were the areas in need of immediate attention.

He said the laws were already there to deal with these crimes. Cadiz also noted that in the majority of murders guns were used.

He agreed with Commissioner of Police Trevor Paul that the public had a part to play in the fight against crime but said people were hesitant because they did not trust the police.

"The police need to show the public that they are working in a professional manner," Cadiz said.

Asked if he thought the Government’s lack of support was because the march was viewed as anti-Government, Cadiz said, "Our take on the march is that it is about people who love TT and regardless of what people want to say, there was a good cross-section there who have the country at heart."

President of the TT Manufactur-ers’ Association (TTMA), Paul Quesnel, said the message of Saturday’s show of support for the Death March should be for the Government to see that people were very concerned about the crime situation in TT.

"Whether they support it (the march) or not they should heed the citizens of this country. We are in pain and dying.

We need them to do their duty in getting the crime situation under control as quickly as possible," said Quesnal.

Quesnel said if people were afraid to go to the police because of fear of reprisals from criminals then they should contact Crime stoppers.

"We encourage people to use 800-TIPS to report on crime in their area or community," he said.

Trinidad and Tobago News

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