THE EDITOR: The meaning of independence is freedom from the control or influence of others. Likewise, TT must assert its independence from crime by devoting as much resources and expertise as possible to fighting crime and defeating the criminal element in high and low places, who are tarnishing the reputation of this country.
We must begin to take crime more seriously as the attitude of many seems to be “we jammin’ still” as the murder rate continues to escalate with no sign of slowing down anytime soon.
Conventional wisdom says that many murders cannot be prevented, that the police and community at large are relatively powerless and helpless to drastically reduce the incidents of violent and heinous crimes.
In order to be effective the Government must display strong moral leadership. It’s time to assert our independence from crime. By changing the traditional approach, the number of homicides can be reduced more successfully.
Murder has always been regarded as the most serious of all criminal offences. The fluctuating murder rate over the last few years has riveted the population and remains a top priority for the Ministry of National Security. Crime and violence are robbing us of our human capital which is our most precious and valuable resource.
High crime and violence rates present a huge challenge to the development of a country as they have an adverse effect on human welfare in the short term and economic growth in the long term. Sadly, the rise in violent crime has been among the top issues facing our nation today. And crime remains the most important issue on the minds of Trinidadians.
According to the Untied Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, murder rates in the Caribbean, averaging 30 per 100,000 people, are higher than any other region of the world.
The Caribbean is especially vulnerable to crime as it suffers from the disadvantage of being situated between the world’s source of cocaine (South America) and the primary consumer market (US). However, sound policy making at the national and regional levels can make a difference in changing the regional culture of violence.
Murder figures are considered to be the most reliable indicator of the violent crime situation in a country as most murders come to the attention of the police. Murder should not be seen as a solitary incident but as a fundamental indicator of social and economic issues including race, poverty, religion and social isolation.
The incidence of murder is merely a symptom of deep-rooted social problems that have manifested themselves through the trafficking of guns, the drug trade and the backlog of criminal cases due to a dysfunctional justice system.
Any crime plan implemented by the Government aimed at reducing violence must take these factors into serious consideration in order to be successful and to gain control of the spiralling crime rate.