Posted by: nastylittletruths | May 7, 2008

Security Priorities

Stephen Cadiz pre-empted me for my wrap up today of the last few posts.

In today’s Express he questioned the purpose of the Special Anti-Crime Unit of TnT (SAUTT) and why so much money had been spent on that unit on one hand, yet the Police Service was not being developed to the same extent? The Opposition UNC always mention the TT$15billion spent on National Security over the last six years but how was it allocated?

SAUTT have helicopters but the Police sometimes operate out of condemned buildings. (Did someone say it is easier to buy a chopper than get a TnT contractor to put up a building on time?) They have their fleet of vehicles bearing the newly created TTAG1 plates but the Police never have a vehicle in the station – or so they say. SAUTT have “special weaponry” that we heard were lent to the Guyanese Security Forces after the massacres in that country. I never heard anyone question what type of weaponry they were talking about and what exactly makes them “special” for hunting men?

My worry about SAUTT stems from the uneasiness I have when I see heavily armed soldiers patrolling the streets. Last Christmas they were in our malls – young soldiers in full battle dress with some very powerful looking weapons. These guys, and the man who leads SAUTT, are trained for war and I fear the mayhem that could result if something goes wrong one day.

This private army (for want of a better description) in Wallerfield has been, since inception, on the fringes of illegality. As far as everyone in the know are concerned, they are not a legal entity. Created by the PM and his AG (according to our constitution, the only two members required to form a government) outside of the normal police and army, it comprises members of both these units and civilians, but what is their true purpose? Certainly not crime fighting because that is getting worse by the day.

Late last year the Minister of National Security spoke about making SAUTT a corporation – like UdeCoTT. Can you imagine? A well equipped, mean fighting machine with reputedly exceptional spying capabilities answerable only to their single shareholder – the Corporation Sole.

So, the PM is protected by a private security firm and the rest of the population have to do with the under-trained and ill-equipped Police Service. Did the Mongoose Gang of Grenada during Gairy’s time, the Ton Ton Macoutes of Haiti during the Duvaliers’ reign and many other variants from Zimbabwe to apartheid South Africa start “innocently” enough and then turned on the population by the their masters?

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