As the murder rate rises closer to 500, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley yesterday said his administration remains steadfast in reversing the crime scourge.
A triple homicide in Cunupia yesterday took to the number of murders to 485.
In his Christmas message, Rowley said crime, as in previous years, was still a front-burner issue.
“The issues associated with addressing crime and national security have remained in the forefront,” he said.
“The complexity of these issues is such that no one action would totally reverse the scourge but this Government is steadfast in its resolve to bring about the stability and security that the people of this nation deserve.”
The Prime Minister stressed “every resource and avenue that are available to us will be explored and utilised in the pursuit of these national objectives.
Rowley also spared a thought for members of the protective services charged with the responsibility for national safety and security.
He said: “In this season of thanksgiving, it is an opportune time for each and every one of us to acknowledge and thank those men and women who, on a daily basis put their lives on the line to keep us safe from the harm that could most certainly overcome us from the criminal element which reside in our country.
“We must also thank the families who support and sustain as we keep them always in our prayers.”
On the economic front, Rowley said strategies will be implemented to address the challenges currently faced by many citizens. “Though this is indeed a season of optimism and celebration, I know that many people in our national community are experiencing challenges of one kind or another.
“ I am however confident, that as we implement our strategies in the year ahead, there will be improvement in the fundamental areas of our economy as well as other areas of national life.”
Rowley urged citizens to be guided by the understanding that the country’s capacity for productivity and progress is most assured when they are able to operate as a united national community.
“It is my sincere hope that every Trinidadian and Tobagonian will carefully reflect on the significance of cooperation in the pursuit of a stable and prosperous country.
“ Although we have indeed experienced many difficulties as a nation, there are many reasons for us to be optimistic about our future.” Rowley said the Christmas season offers citizens the opportunity to adopt the spirit of hope for a better future.
“Let us be encouraged by the values of optimism and selflessness demonstrated by Christ during his ministry on the earth.”