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Thursday 14 December 2017
Crime and Court

Ex-California AG: Crime not an act of nature

From left Port of Spain Mayor Joel Martinez, Dan Lungren former Congressman and Attorney General State of California USA and Canada's High Commissioner Carla Hogan Rufelds at the Caribbean Security Forum at the Hyatt Regency in Port of Spain 21-09-17 PHOTO SUREASH CHOLAI

There is an urgent call for action not only by the Government, business leaders, churches and non-governmental organisations but by all of society in their private and public lives to be committed to making a change in TT.

“This hemisphere has suffered what we refer to as acts of God or acts of nature, most recent hurricanes and earthquakes which are not controlled by man. We gauge our response to these tragedies by the intensity of our resilience, by our ability to protect and rebuild our infrastructure but most importantly by the way we reach out with mercy and compassion to those who are injured,” said Dan Lungren, former US Congressman and Attorney General for the State of California today at the Caribbean Security Forum 2017, held at the Hyatt Regency, Port of Spain.

“Crime is not an act of nature. It is a culmination of acts by men and women against other men and women and tragically against children. Unless you give people hope they will not commit to making the changes which are necessary. Only when they believe that true action will result in true change, they will not buy into attempts at defeating crime," he added.

The forum is a two-day programme which aims to look at the themes of violent crimes and restorative justice; trafficking; terrorism; corruption; and the latest technologies for fighting crime and terrorism with a panel of distinguished experts in the field both locally and internationally.

The ultimate objective of the two-day forum is to devise a plan that is workable for all stakeholders.

In attendance was the Minister of Trade and Industry, Paula Gopee-Scoon, who attended on behalf of the Prime Minister and the TT government. In her remarks, Gopee-Scoon reassured that Government is committed to making robust proposals to enhance the quality of living for citizens. “Our National Development Strategy 2016-2030, more commonly known as Vision 2030, in fact recognises that collaboration among actors and an integrated approach among many sectors is a prerequisite to addressing cross-cutting issues such as human security, among others,” said Gopee-Scoon.

The feature speaker, Lungren placed emphasis on “true action.”

“It’s more than just government, it is society at large. In California, what has been done in the past is that citizen groups largely led by victims of crime and their families have come together to organize demonstrations to put pressure on the political system to make the changes necessary to really defeat crime in a major way,” Lungren said.

“I am proud that members of the business community have had enough, and started a forum to bring together people who have expertise in these areas, working with the experts here in TT on crime strategies and preventative measures,” he added.

One of the strategies Lungren mentioned was establishing pilot programmes in a relatively small geographical area or section of a community and prove that those techniques make a positive difference there before the techniques can be applied on a larger scale. “Families deserve to live without fear. Crime in TT is at an unacceptable level."

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