«Medium-Term Policy Framework 2011-2014 Ministry of Planning and the Economy October 2011 Table of Contents PREFACE BY THE MINISTER OF PLANNING AND ...»
A major initiative is the 21st Century Policing Project, which introduces a new delivery system for policing that builds partnerships with communities and provides a high level of customer service. It effectively blends intelligence led proactive initiatives together with community policing strategies. Given the success of the pilot, it is being incorporated into the other eight (8) Divisions of the Police Service.
Efforts are also underway to redouble the training capacity of the Police Academy, to allow for increased recruit intake and advanced training. In addition to the expansion of the Recruiting Unit to include 20 Background Check Investigators and more Polygraphists, the Induction Programme has been revised, the Induction Facility enhanced and plans are underway to expand the facilities to support the proposed increased intake and ensure suitable accommodation for all programmes.
Additionally, to provide greater focus and expertise to policing, specialised units such as Divisional Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) Units and Domestic Violence and Special Victims Units are being established. As part of the strategy for the timely provision of forensic pathology and analytical laboratory services to support law enforcement and the administration of justice, a new state-of-the-art Forensic Centre will be constructed and properly equipped.
Innovation for Lasting Prosperity 30 Medium-Term Policy Framework 2011 - 2014
Proactive law enforcement will also be more evident as specific actions are taken to:
• Target leaders and criminals involved in gangs, guns and drugs to rescue communities
• Seek out guns and ammunition that support criminal activity and take them out of circulation
• Target businesses that are aligned to criminal activity and that provide cover for crime and criminal activities
• Appropriately penalise and sentence the guilty and protect communities by incarcerating serious and dangerous criminals within the framework of effective law enforcement
• Remove illegal immigrants, who pose a danger to national security or a risk to public safety including persons with outstanding criminal warrants and/or convicted of crimes, with a particular emphasis on violent criminals, felons, and repeat offenders as well as members of criminal gangs or syndicates Strategy: Strengthen the Legal Framework A very important aspect of reducing crime relates to evidence gathering from informants and creating the necessary facilitating environment for the testimony of victims and witnesses, and the appropriate legislative framework for effective law enforcement and the proper punishment of offenders.
Several pieces of key legislation have either been assented to or proclaimed, namely:
• The Anti-Gang Act which makes provision for the suppression of associations established for unlawful purposes
• The Bail (Amendment) Act which confers on a Court the jurisdiction to deny bail to a person who is a gang member
• The Miscellaneous Provisions (Kidnapping and Bail) Act, which increases the amount of time a person can be held with no evidence for the charge of kidnapping and changes the existing penalty for the offence of kidnapping
• The Interception of Communications Act, which provides the legal framework within which public or private communications, which are being transmitted by means of a public or private telecommunications network, can be lawfully intercepted
• The Firearms Amendment Act, which provides for the increase in penalties for offences involving a firearm or any prohibited weapon, as defined by the Act, by an average of 50 per cent
In recognition of the transnational and perverse financing of crime, the Financial Intelligence Act (2009) has been amended to improve the effectiveness of the Financial Intelligence Unit in combating money laundering as well as terrorist financing in Trinidad and Tobago.
To combat the growing fear and mistrust that the law cannot protect citizens, the problem of witness intimidation and gang code of silence, the Government will therefore, revisit the issue of enacting the necessary legislation that will allow for using existing technology to record statements of both accused persons and witnesses, even where the latter is absent at the trial, and making such evidence admissible in Court.
In the new fiscal year, legislation will be brought to Parliament for the Private Security Industry and to amend the Prison Rules and the Defence Act as well as the Evidence Act.
Strategy: Construct 21st Century Facilities for Law Enforcement The working environment of law enforcement agents is a major determinant in successful detection and policing. Officers require working conditions and amenities such as evidence docks and interview rooms to effectively discharge their responsibilities while the public needs accessible and appropriate facilities to interact with law enforcement personnel. In an effort to provide officers with modern accommodation and amenities, the State will construct 19 police stations at various locations throughout Trinidad and Tobago. All property rooms will be outfitted with the technology to ensure that all items in Police care will be properly labelled and accounted for. A major project is the construction of new and modern, purpose built facilities to expand the Police Training Academy in St. James. Government will also undertake construction of Coast Guard facilities in strategic locations and upgrade of the Maximum Security Prison Complex.
Innovation for Lasting Prosperity 32 Medium-Term Policy Framework 2011 - 2014 Strategy: Improve Solvency Rates through Technology Priority is also being given to the employment of innovative technology-driven techniques that will improve solvency rates and enhance the capability of detectives in developing criminal profiles and databases. In addition, the establishment of a Central Booking System will result in the introduction of new and more effective procedures for booking, case management and prosecution. Two critical initiatives will have a significant impact on efforts to maintain law and order - the complete automation of Police Administration which will permit the elimination of the paper based system and the establishment of a National Security Operations Centre with the capacity to conduct real time tracking of crime and criminal activity.
Strategy: Strengthen Surveillance and Control of Borders Initiatives to stem illegal activity across our land borders must be complemented by actions that reduce security threats in our airspace and maritime domains. Priority attention is being given to improving mobility and rapid deployment to quickly counter and interdict based on shifts in smuggling routes and tactical intelligence and to improving border awareness and intelligence. To effectively safeguard the nation’s maritime borders, greater scrutiny will be placed on containers, cruise ships and ferries as part of a comprehensive, systematic approach to border security. This will include the application of international best practice to increase container inspections at foreign ports, which requires carriers to submit a complete cargo manifest at least 24 hours prior to loading for vessels that are calling directly on local ports. Key initiatives include the strengthening of the Coast Guard fleet by the acquisition of 12 interceptors, the sourcing of two (2) long range patrol vessels and the addition of two (2) helicopters to the fleet of the Air Guard.
Strategy: Reduce Recidivism through the Rehabilitation and Reintegration of Offenders Despite the best efforts of the justice apparatus, many persons reoffend, thus resulting in critical State resources being deployed and utilised to address the consequences of recidivism. To reduce the prevalence of persistent reoffending, inmates will be given more opportunities to excel and become productive members of society. Programmes will be implemented to help inmates learn new skills and develop good habits and attitudes to facilitate reintegration into
society. Among the actions to be taken are:
• Increase inmate basic skills and provide them with the opportunity to work towards educational qualifications, and vocational and industry-recognised certification in order to improve their future employment prospects
• Ensure that inmates serve their sentences and engage in constructive and commercial
Innovation for Lasting Prosperity 34 Medium-Term Policy Framework 2011 - 2014 In an effort to provide legal advice and representation to clients, a Duty Council Scheme will be established under the Legal Aid and Advisory Authority to allow persons 24 hour access to an Attorney-at-Law for serious criminal matters. In addition, the services of the Legal Aid Offices will be expanded to additional geographic locations.
Strategy: Improve the Efficiency and Effectiveness of the Judicial System In an effort to modernise and expedite the delivery of justice in Trinidad and Tobago, the Judiciary will establish open and accessible courts, where the location, physical structures, procedures and the efficiency of staff assist in eliminating the barriers to obtaining justice. Efforts will be focused on improving judicial timeliness by reducing unnecessary delays to ensure that injustices and undue hardships are not experienced by plaintiffs.
In order to minimise the logistics and cost involved in transporting prisoners to Court, the Video-Conferencing Remand Hearings that were piloted in Scarborough, St. George West and San Fernando Magistrate’s Courts will be fully upgraded and expanded to other areas.
To reduce the time taken to produce transcripts, steps will be undertaken to ensure that the appropriate infrastructure to accommodate audio digital court recording is included in each court refurbishment project.
A comprehensive review and evaluation will be conducted into the operations of the Civil Proceedings Rules, which aim to simplify court procedures, expedite cases, reduce the cost of litigations and provide the courts with greater control over the pace of litigation undertaken towards ascertaining its impact on the Civil Justice System.
Over the medium-term, the Judiciary will continue to improve access to its services via Specialised Courts. Following on the implementation and success of the Family Court Pilot, a full roll-out of the Court’s services will be undertaken. A Coroner’s Court Project will be implemented to expedite Coroner’s inquests from all Magisterial Districts in Trinidad and Tobago.
Additionally, the Criminal Case Management System will be redesigned to achieve a modern court system that is based on robust information systems supported by modern ICT infrastructure and policies and procedures to enable the court to meet its mandates.
• Improve the quantity, quality and effectiveness of early parenting support services, particularly for those at risk
• Develop programmes to assist the youth before crimes are committed including training and jobs for at-risk youth and young people so that they can lead productive lives
• Keep children in school and involved in after school activities such as cadets and sports, so that they are less prone to engaging in anti-social behaviour
• Promote greater coordination of programmes among front line agencies, including the establishment of new institutional arrangements to ensure that coordination
• Develop programmes and interventions that address violence and delinquency/gang prevention at the individual, family and community level
• Facilitate and encourage greater community participation in implementing prevention strategies
• Enhance prevention by implementing mentoring programmes that provide youth with positive interactions with responsible adults who can provide guidance, nurturing and support
• Assist communities in educating parents, teachers and other community stakeholders in identifying the early warning signs of gangs and gang related activity and in implementing effective intervention strategies
• Implement a range of social support measures involving a number of Ministries and Institutions. These include the Ministry of Planning and the Economy, Ministry of National Security, Ministry of the People and Social Development, Ministry of Gender, Youth and Child Development, Ministry of Sport, Ministry of Arts and Multiculturalism, Ministry of Community Development, and the Ministry of Justice. The support
The School Intervention Programme is a key intervention for reaching the youth early and pre-empting their involvement in deviant behaviour. Under the Programme, a police officer is assigned to each school to foster better relations among parents and school and law enforcement officials. Also, law enforcement officers and social workers will receive specific training to allow for greater effectiveness in implementing prevention initiatives within communities.
Strategy: Provide Opportunities for Meaningful Economic Participation Special programmes will be developed to train prisoners and to provide them with skills and educational opportunities before they leave prison. In the last six (6) months prior to re-entry into society, the focus will be on attitude and mind-shift changes supportive of success in the wider world. Links will be created to support meaningful economic participation.
Food security is a complex sustainable development issue. It is linked to health through malnutrition and chronic diseases; poverty eradication; research and development (R&D); sustainable economic development; environmental conservation; and the trade balance. Food security “exists when all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food” (Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), 1996).