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Rambachan on Prof Ryan’s crime report No gang lords running CEPEP, URP

Brasso Tabaquite  Bridge (7)Local Government Minister Suruj Rambachan disagrees with the findings that gang lords rule and run the Community-based Environmental Protection and Enhancement Programme (CEPEP) and the Unemployment Relief Programme (URP). The findings are contained in Prof Selwyn Ryan’s crime report which was presented in the House of Representatives, Tower D, International Waterfront Centre, Port of Spain, on Friday.

The minister made the comment while addressing the media as he toured URP projects and the Chaguanas Borough Hall yesterday.  Rambachan said this may have been the case when the PNM ran the show prior to the 2010 general election. He said a cleaner programme is being run in the URP.

He said contractors under the  URP programme are legitimate contractors from the community. He said in the hot spot areas such as Laventille, Maloney and Beetham Gardens the army has been supervising the work in those areas and the potential for infiltration by gangs had been reduced. Rambachan said so too are the instance of ghost gangs. He said, “Ghosting has been controlled.”

He said in a bid to control the advent of URP ghosts there are regular review by valuation officers of the presence of workers on the job sites. He said the army is also engaged in mentoring the people in hot spot areas.

On another issue, Rambachan said he does not think giving municipal police officers more sophisticated weapons was the answer to control crime in hot spots. He said different strategies must come into play including the intelligence gathering as well as social and sporting programmes such as the successful Hoop of Life initiative. Rambachan said the new Chaguanas Borough Hall is expected to be reopened in a few months. He said most of the work had been completed and the structure needed to get a new coat of paint.


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