By Exilus Deceyon
Port- of- Spain, Trinidad, April 5th 2006 [AlterPresse] --- Sixty-five per cent of all serious crimes committed in Trinidad and Tobago are related to the illicit drug trade, Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security Fitzgerald Hinds has stated.
Quoting “ongoing statistics,” Hinds made the disclosure at the launch of a two-day workshop on building stronger policies and consolidating government and NGO collaborations at the Ministry’s Temple Court, Abercromby Street, office in Port-of-Spain on April 4th, 2006.
However, Hinds would not comment on what type of drug was fuelling the local drug trade, saying only that “all illegal drugs are part of the problem.”
“There is a clear link between crime and drug use and drug trafficking, and therefore we recognise clearly, if we deal with the drug problem whether from a criminal justice standpoint or a social or health standpoint, we are dealing with crime at the same time”, he noted, declaring drug traffickers the enemies of society.
It was reported, on Monday April 3th, that Minister of National Security Martin Joseph announced that the police would be focusing on gang and drug-related crime.
The United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has listed Trinidad and Tobago as a trans-shipment point for illegal drugs filtering from South America into the United States and Europe.
On April 4th, 2006, launch, facilitated by Germany-based NGO DOH International and by extension the European Union, focused on building a working relationship between regional NGOs and governments to battle the ills associated with illegal drugs.
Members of the National Drug Council, the National Drug and Prevention Programme as well as representatives from St Lucia, Jamaica, Grenada, Barbados, Dominica, Dominican Republic and Guyana were in attendance.
Progamme director of DOH International, Ulrich Kohler, urged governmental and private service providers to “facilitate a way back into the community” for drug-users and marginalised people.
However, Minister of Social Development, Anthony Roberts, in delivering the feature address, promoted a change in legislation to tackle alcohol abuse, “the most socially accepted addictive drug in our society.”
“Government is therefore of the strong opinion that it is necessary to make recommendations for a new policy and programme initiatives aimed at reducing the levels of alcohol consumption and related incidents”, he said.
He added that a survey on alcoholism and its effects on society were due to be completed by the Ministry in June. [de rc apr april /05/2006 15 :30]