The Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce (TTCIC) is calling for 'urgent action' to be taken now to deal with the crime situation in the country.
In a statement, the private sector body said it is of the opinion that National Security Minister, Stuart Young, 'in his leadership role must acknowledge that we are not just in a difficult situation but in fact in a crisis regarding crime and we do not have the luxury of time to deal with it.'
It said that it is of the view that 'the present state of affairs dictates that urgent action must be taken now' and that the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS), despite its best efforts, 'does not by itself have the capacity to deal with the crime situation, and other arms of the security infrastructure must be mobilised.
'We also recognise the Minister's reference to technology in the fight against crime and endorse this. We fully support a strong presence of security forces in high-crime areas.'
So far more than 20 people have been killed since the start of the year and last year, Trinidad and Tobago recorded more than 520 murders, surpassing the previous figure of 517 in 2018.
In its statement, the TTCIC said that the law 'provides for the Defence Force 'to cooperate with and assist the civil power in maintaining law and order,' and 'to assist the civil authorities in times of crisis or disaster.
'We thank the Minister for his commitment with regard to upping the collaborations between the police and the defence force and trust that this is part of an overall plan and strategy that is being executed on a sustained basis.'
But the private sector group said it believes that there were several options open to the authorities to deal with the crime situation, adding that a list of the most wanted criminals should be circulated in the media, at every police station and all police posts.