FITZGERALD HINDS, Laventille West MP is not satisfied with the response to crime, especially in the Chinapoo area, but he believes a lot is being done to address the issue.
At the Chinapoo Village Social Welfare Organisation’s Peace and Prosperity Harvest Project yesterday, he said a greater effort was needed by individuals and organisations to make the Laventille/Morvant community a safer place.
The event was held at the Chinapoo Village Community Center, Morvant. Also present was Laventille East/Morvant MP Adrian Leonce.
However, only a handful of residents turned out to the event, with the majority being a handful of children.
When questioned about crime in the area, Hinds said, “I am not satisfied, although I am fully aware a lot is being done from a sociological standpoint, a community standpoint, from an infrastructural standpoint and from a policing standpoint. But I am not satisfied altogether with the reaction to it.”
Young Makeda McSween, who walked with only three other members of the group from the St Dominic’s RC Church to the community centre, said the group marched “to stop the crime and killing each other like dogs.” She also spoke about the “war” between the Muslim and Rasta City gangs.
When questioned on that, Hinds said he had difficulty with the use of the word “war” since, being a paramilitary man, he knew wars were fought “for something.”
“It was about land...political ideology. It was about things of some value to human beings. This so-called war that exists between Rasta and Muslim in this country, those are labels for two gangs that have nothing to do with Rastafarianism and true Islamic practice and tradition.”
He said it was unfortunate that the gangs had these names since “it brings discredit to the important movement of Rasta and equal discredit to the great and proud religion of Islam.”
Hinds said, when asked what more should be done, the Minister of National Security had “time and time again” said it was not only a matter for National Security and every aspect of the country’s governance, community life and church life had a role to play in the fight against crime.
The Government, he added, had no role in the harvest project and it was a matter between the church and a community-based group speaking out against crime.
The group, he said, had a march to signal “their own abhorrence and rejection of the crime situation, including the gangland foolishness and how it impacts their community.”
He said all of the work done by the ministries, community-based organisations like the Chinapoo Village Social Welfare Organisation and the church “must be brought together to deal with the blindness and the ignorance and emptiness of the violence and mayhem that we see and the lack of productivity.”
When he addressed the small audience, Hinds praised the work being done by Patsy Bansfield, president of the organisation.
Leonce also said crime was one of the main issues that has stigmatised the community and was an area he placed a lot of emphasis on and worked on “getting different things done that would reduce crime and criminality in the area.”