While gang violence plagued parts of his Port-of-Spain North/St Ann’s West constituency in the past five years, National Security Minister Stuart Young says this level of crime did not happen overnight.
Speaking on The Morning Brew yesterday, Young said should constituents reelect him as their MP, his focus will be on the youth of those crime-riddled communities in Laventille and Port-of-Spain.
Recently, the Elections and Boundaries Commission shifted a few polling stations from Port-of-Spain South and Laventille West into Port-of Spain-North/St Anns-East.
“I have walked the ground in those areas up to this week; I was up on the East Port-of-Spain side. People have not raised it with me at least, the incidents and these types of things but I do know the difficulties people are facing. It is not something that came out overnight. It is how can we work with persons? How can we work to alleviate some of their concerns? I have told them that this term coming when I am returned as the MP for Port-of-Spain North/St Anns West, a major focus is going to be on the youths.”
Young said the homicide statistic in the Port-of-Spain policing division is disturbing, but there is a decrease. There was a spike in murders in late 2019, and Young said he discussed his concern with Police Commissioner Gary Griffith. Young said that as the Minister of National Security, he strives to drive the various national security services to work together to secure citizens.
“There were things done in the past that have led to this type of crime and criminality. That is a fact. It did not happen overnight. These are not fruits that grew up overnight and are now being picked. We have a process, and we are tackling it, and we are now beginning to see the results. We will keep at it.”
While the United National Congress nicknamed Young the “Minister of Everything”, he said he takes it as a compliment. He said it arose after being asked to hold several portfolios but as a “servant of the people” who is knowledgeable on most things in government, he accepts the title.
“I never saw it as a derogatory term,” he said.