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National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds

The Minister of National Security, Fitzgerald Hinds MP, has issued a statement in responding to public commentary on an interview he did on a local morning show, on Monday 7 February 2022.

The full text of the Minister’s statement, follows…

MINISTER HINDS: THE LIFE OF EVERY CITIZEN IS IMPORTANT

The Minister of National Security, the Honourable Fitzgerald Hinds M.P. listened carefully to criticisms and the furore raised by the Political Opposition to comments that he made, during an interview with TV6 Host Fazeer Mohammed, on the Morning Edition Programme of Monday February 7, 2022. 

The Minister takes this opportunity to clear the air on this issue.

Mr. Mohammed, in his usual aggressive and abrasive style, invited the Minister to agree to his hypothesis that the Minister had failed in his responsibility to ensure the safety and security of the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago.

Naturally, the Minister disagreed, since nothing could be further from the truth.

Minister Hinds did not agree with Mr. Mohammed’s ill-informed and contrived position, and therefore sought to clarify for Mr. Mohammed, the role of the Minister of National Security, extends beyond mere “concern”, “anger” and “exasperation”, over the issue of crime and violence in this country.

For any Minister of National Security, issues of safety, security and the wellbeing of all our citizens and visitors to our shores, as well as issues of natural disaster, must be paramount. 

This is why Minister Hinds also sought to clarify for Mr. Mohammed that the role of a Minister of National Security does not involve operational aspects of law enforcement; that being the responsibility of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service, of course supported by other operational arms of the Ministry of National Security. 

Minister Hinds communicated that as a government minister, in this representative democracy, among his primary responsibilities, is the articulation of Government’s National Security Policy, and as well, to ensure that law enforcement agencies are properly resourced, and supported, in the fight against crime and other threats to this democracy.

The Minister here reaffirms that it is the responsibility of the technical experts/office holders, like the Commissioner of Police, the Chief of Defence Staff, and other leaders of the State’s security architecture, as well as their personnel to treat with strategic frameworks, that guide the implementation of the government’s policy on national security. These naturally are aimed at achieving optimum safety and security for, and on behalf of, all of the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago.

The Honourable Minister considers this collaborative and cooperative relationship, with the operational leaders of national security, undergirded by competence, mutual respect, and integrity in public office, to be the model that will offer the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago, the most effective approach to arresting the state of crime and criminality. 

The Minister remains resolute in the realization of this objective.

It is to be noted that those who choose to criticize the Minister of National Security, might very well be guilty of not subscribing to, nor adhering to the principles outlined by the Minister, and rather choose to use their political and other influence to undermine the integrity of these enduring principles, essential to the goal of good governance in Trinidad and Tobago.