Antiguan government minister supports Trinidad’s State of Emergency

ST. JOHN’S, Antigua, Friday September 30, 2011 – National Security Minister Dr. Errol Cort said regional governments need to be “extremely aggressive” in fighting certain crimes, as he endorsed the decision by the Trinidad and Tobago government to institute a State of Emergency.

“I am suggesting that we all need to be proactive and in certain cases, to be extremely aggressive, to deal with this criminal situation,” he said Thursday.

The Kamla Persad-Bissessar-led administration has been under increasing pressure, from various interest groups, to end the State of Emergency, which has been in place since late August.

More than 3200 people have been arrested for traffic violation and suspicion of being involved in gangs, among other offences.

Businesses have complained that the measure is hurting operations; while the opposition has called for it to be revoked on the grounds it has outlived it “crime-fighting usefulness.”

However, Dr. Cort said crime would also have a negative effect on businesses, if it is allowed to get out of control.

“If you have crime taking over your country, then aint no business gonna function,” he said.

“You gotta get that situation under total control and where things escalate to a level where you need a State of Emergency to bring them back under control, well, so be it. We saw, for example, in Jamaica where the government used the Dudus Coke affair to move into certain areas and clean up the place. Now, they are benefitting from that approach.” Click here to receive free news bulletins via email from Caribbean360. (View sample)