Jack Warner bans Trinidad and Tobago murder figures

Image caption,
Jack Warner, a former Fifa vice-president, is a well-known figure in the Caribbean

Police in Trinidad and Tobago have been ordered to stop releasing murder statistics.

National Security Minister Jack Warner said reports of violence encouraged people to commit more crime.

He accused the opposition PNM party of using official police information to encourage mayhem in the Caribbean country.

Acting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams said that he would ignore the order.

Mr Williams said the police would continue to fulfil their legal obligation of disseminating information on murders and other crime on the islands.

Mr Warner's comments have led to angry reactions in Trinidad and Tobago, particularly among members of the PNM party.

'Domino effect'

Jack Warner is a well-known, albeit controversial, figure in the Caribbean.

He was appointed as national security minister in his native Trinidad and Tobago in June, a year after resigning as vice-president of the world's football body, Fifa.

He had been accused of paying bribes to Caribbean football associations. Mr Warner denies any wrongdoing.

His comments on crime in Trinidad and Tobago came after the murder of a young man in a violent area of the country.

The order was meant as a temporary measure to tackle crime, Mr Warner said.

"The intent of this measure is to seek to ensure that crime statistics are not sensationalised, thereby acting as a domino effect in certain hot spot areas," he said in a statement.

"The issue is not about withholding the statistics. It is about the management of the sensitive information that has the potential to inflame additional crime - particularly when treating the issue of gangs."

Drug-related violence is a major problem in Trinidad and Tobago, which has become a shipment point for cocaine coming from South America.

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