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Attorney Subhas Panday address members of the media during a press conference at his law office on Gordon Street, San Fernando.

National Security Minister Stuart Young’s decision to scrap the residential patrol plan has put residents’ lives at risk, says a former minister, who is calling for the plan to be immediately reintroduced.

In a press release Thursday, Subhas Panday, a former national security minister, also suggested that the patrols be done by the Municipal police force at no cost to the state rather than private security firms.

At a press conference on Wednesday, Young announced that the plan which he revealed the day before would be discontinued after “certain voices” said they felt comfortable and did not need an additional layer of security. The patrols were to be done by private security firms in non-hotspots areas.

Advising Young to be cautious and measured in his decisions, he said national security is too sensitive and important to be treated flippantly.

Panday added, “He (Young) stated that the residential patrol was to augment the strength of the police service by releasing police officers to deal with the hotspots. His statements have now put the lives and properties of these residents in serious and imminent danger, including home invasions, rape, robbery, and murder. He has telescoped to the criminals, what the current situation is and in bandit’s language have hinted to them, “the coast is clear, you could attack now.”

Calling for the plan to be reintroduced, he suggested that the municipal police officers from the 14 regional corporations conduct the patrols. “These officers are well trained precepted and well equipped with new vehicles and equipment to perform these patrols.”

He added that they are paid by the station and familiar with the local areas within their municipals.

Panday also claimed that the residents were not against additional security patrols, but to the alleged wastage and lack of transparency of state funds.