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ILP: Enforce Education Act to deal with crime
The Independent Liberal Party (ILP) has proposed a list of measures to address crime to Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, including enforcement of the Education Act to deal with truancy.
The proposal comes one day after Rowley led a team of government officials to engage Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar and her team in crime reduction talks.
In a release yesterday, ILP chairman Dominic Romain, said the party believed the issues of crime, national security and public safety were serious matters that should not be made the subject of political games and semantics but should lead to workable solutions to national problems.
The party, which was founded by a former government minister Jack Warner, is currently being led by attorney Rekha Ramjit.
The party said based on its observations, research and study, it had identified the issues which need urgent attention.
Below are the ILP’s proposals.
1. Establish special courts for gun and drug offences and remand courts at the prisons to assist in clearing the backlog of cases that are awaiting trial. This will provide the added benefit of freeing up scarce financial resources that are spent on prison transport but which could be more productively and effectively applied, for example, in offender rehabilitation programmes and addressing other gaps in the social services system.
2. Addressing the problems that are hampering performance of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) must be another high priority. This includes the issue of “Acting” leadership of the TTPS, remuneration and benefits of officers in the protective services, overall lack of resources and the need for modern crime fighting technology.
3. The ILP also believes that legislation to protect Whistle Blowers is an important tool for combating white collar crime and institutionalized, systemic State corruption which facilitates other types of crimes and which simultaneously facilitate criminal activity such as the importation of guns, drugs and other contraband.
4. The full resources of the protective agencies should be immediately deployed to all known drug blocks and brothels. It is an insult to the concept of good governance that dens of iniquity can be identified and spoken about openly by everyone, and yet no action is taken.
5. The review, update and enforcement of Part III of the Education Act which contains provisions for dealing with truancy, offences arising from contributing to truancy and failure to ensure that children who are of compulsory education age (between six and 12 years) are in school when they are supposed to be.
Part III of the Education Act places the jurisdiction for enforcement of compulsory attendance in the hands of School Attendance Officers, and School Supervisors, in conjunction with School Principals. All effort must be made to ensure that this system is in place and functioning.
We further submit that a department should be established within the Ministry of Education to monitor student and teacher attendance and to “flag” incidents that require investigation, enforcement and follow up.
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