State of Emergency extended

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad & Tobago: The State of Emergency has been extended for a further three months in Trinidad and Tobago. However, the curfew hours in specific areas have been reduced.

The motion to extend the State of Emergency was passed in the House of Representatives on Sunday after two days of debate.

As of last Monday, the curfew which is in effect for areas in Port-of-Spain, San Fernando, Arima, Chaguanas, Diego Martin and San Juan/Laventille will now run from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m., an amendment to the previous 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. period.

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar said the curfew times could further be revised if she is so advised by the security forces.

She told Parliament that the State of Emergency has been imposed to “avert a crisis of untold proportions” and “the nation had been saved a criminal uprising of untold proportions”.

“Today the nation is safer because of that decision. The government has demonstrated that it will not allow the nation to be held to ransom by marauding groups of thugs bent on creating mayhem and havoc in our society. Let us be clear about one thing; the State of Emergency has worked,” she said.

“And it has worked not only because there has been substantial reduction in killings but also because serious crime is almost zero and road carnage halted; it has worked not only because we have arrested over 1,000 criminal elements with hundreds on outstanding warrants; it has worked not only because caches of weapons and ammunition have been confiscated; but it has also worked because from the moment we took the tough decision to impose a State of Emergency a crisis had been averted.

“And that is how I measure its success.”

Persad-Bissessar said she is convinced that implementation of the State of Emergency was a good decision and she would do it again if she had to.

She said the government’s war on crime would continue and urged all citizens to band together against criminals.

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