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Last Updated: Thursday, 29 September 2005, 09:08 GMT 10:08 UK
Trinidad seeks UK-US police help
Trinidad and Tobago PM, Patrick Manning
Mr Manning said deportees contributed to the crime problem
Trinidad and Tobago's prime minister says he has asked London's Metropolitan Police and the FBI for teams to help deal with a surge in violent crime.

There have been a record 275 murders this year, among a population of 1.3m.

On Wednesday, about 400 businesses took out full-page advertisements in newspapers, holding Prime Minister Patrick Manning personally responsible.

Mr Manning told the BBC crime on the islands was part of a global problem that needed international assistance.

He said the illegal trade in drugs had created a criminal elite with enough resources to corrupt public institutions.

Profits from drug trafficking were being used to buy weapons and ammunitions which were used by feuding gangs, pushing up the murder rate, Mr Manning said.

The prime minister also said criminals deported back to the Caribbean island from the UK, the US and Canada contributed to the crime problem.

Mr Manning's plans for tackling crime were announced in his 2005/2006 budget.

But the Trinidad and Tobago Express reported that business leaders were disappointed with the plans.

"We would have hoped, taking in consideration the deterioration of crime, [for] a more decisive and immediate plan for tackling crime," Christian Mouttet, president of the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce, was quoted as saying.

Police say more people have been murdered in the first nine months of this year than in the whole of 2004.

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