In T&T: Jearlean: Crime decrease due to Colour Me Orange

24 February 2012


Colour Me Successful? HDC head attributes crime decline to employment programme.

There was a major decrease in serious crime during phase three of Government’s Colour Me Orange Programme, says Jearlean John, managing director of the Housing Development Programme (HDC).

The programme, which started in 2010, saw an injection of $300 million for its third phase which was launched in November 2011 at the Hilton Trinidad by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar.

A full report on the programme and its impact on crime is expected to be completed by next week.

Persad-Bissessar previously said the programme would be expanded.

Speaking briefly to the Express yesterday, John said that serious crimes decreased, by as much as 50 per cent in some areas where the Colour Me Orange programme was in effect.

Some 2,050 people from crime “hot spots” were employed in the programme during a three-month period.

John said some people were dismissed because of the low tolerance for indiscipline, absenteeism, poor work attitude, etc, bringing the total number to 1,920 working in the programme.

These people were contracted to work on refurbishing HDC rental units on the Corporation’s estates in Port of Spain, Morvant, Maloney, San Fernando and Couva.

Persad-Bissessar described the programme as a means of providing employment and also an avenue where skills training could be offered to young people who had not been previously able to access the basic but necessary skills which support self-sufficiency.

While the programme has been called a success by some, last week Independent Senator Helen Drayton spoke out against it, saying it was fuelling a culture of dependency.

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