By Clint Chan Tack and Sean Douglas
Tuesday, January 15 2008
ATTORNEY GENERAL Bridgid Annisette-George yesterday warned citizens that “vigilante groups are not recognised by law.”
She also cautioned that vigilantism “is really a dangerous course to be encouraging citizens to adopt.”
Annisette-George made the comments at her Cabildo Chambers office in Port-of-Spain. Although she did not directly comment on UNC A MPs Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj and Jack Warner’s launch of a community policing initiative in Macaulay, Annisette-George said any role citizens want to play in the fight against crime must be done in accordance with the law.
“While I think that all citizens have to play a role in fighting the scourge of crime, I would have thought that the national community’s support would have been enlisted in another way in accordance with law.”
She said the lines between a community group from a vigilante group may be difficult to distinguish but advised that vigilantism can leave participants “open to criminal proceedings. So that one has to be careful. ”
While the State and the police have their roles in fighting crime, the AG said all citizens have “a primary responsibility” to play to bring crime under control. From parents looking after their children’s well-being to adults obeying the country’s laws, Annisette-George added, “I think that is how the public should really be enlisted in the fight against crime.”
Reacting to critics of his hiring of security guards to protect villagers in Macaulay, Maharaj yesterday said private guards are used to protect Government offices and private business in cities like Port-of-Spain plus gated communities, and to transport prisoners.
“They are precepted by the Commissioner of Police and have powers of arrest. I don’t understand how they are called vigilante groups.”
He said the criticisms were an attempt to divert public attention from the Government’s failure to solve the crime problem.
“The real issue is why do people have to resort to paying private security guards?”
Why she doh haul she ole mudder cont.
How the fock this is now vigilantism? When the fockin big shots in all them gated communities and bourgeois areas like Lange Park, Valsayn and places dong Westmoorings hire private security to patrol their areas. Any fockin body call dem vigilantes.
As the UNC do the same thing for fockin poor people in Tabaquite, it fockin illegal.
Look she should gone fock with Trevor "Party Boy" Paul. Tow ah dem over fockin dotish the same way.