THE EDITOR: On September 24, TT marked its 41st anniversary as a republic. The good and productive citizens of this country must continue to strive for excellence and take back control of our republic from the criminal elements.
It appears we have lost the battle on crime in this country as good citizens continue to be subject to arson attacks, murders, threats against their lives, drive-by shootings, robberies of our hard-earned money and possessions in our homes and business places, and kidnappings. To make matters worse are a disappointingly low detection rate and a police force that is either unable or unwilling to engage in the fight to save our republic.
Young people are bombarded on a daily basis with musical lyrics that encourage a lifestyle of gross lewdness and lascivious behaviour as some teachers and principals have given up on the fight against crime and as a result are doing very little to produce students of excellence. According to the Police Service, violent crimes including murder, kidnapping and robbery have increased since the late 1990s. Stakeholders have strong evidence indicating that violent crime in the country is driven by drugs.
Evidence suggests that murders and kidnappings are motivated by conflicts arising from the increasingly influential drug trade, highlighting the country’s role in receiving drugs from Latin America for distribution in North America and Europe.
While the conventional problem-solving approach provides logical strategies for prevention, it would likely face significant challenges because of problems with corruption and capacity within powerful and influential institutions.
Suspicions continue to grow regarding rich and powerful people being closely linked to the drug trade, often more powerful than law enforcement agencies. Communities must take a closer look at their gun violence problem and they will often discover that there also exists a gang violence problem.
Communities that are wise enough to recognise the unique challenges associated with reducing gangs and related crime problems, such as gun violence, become much safer, healthier and productive, and may be more resilient to future crime problems.
We need to do our research and develop initiatives that focus on building knowledge about promising practices in preventing gang membership and gang violence. Programmes and other efforts to prevent and reduce gang violence build on what we have learned from past evaluations and can guide the development of better strategies for the future.
It’s time to take back control of our country.
SIMON WRIGHT, Chaguanas