THE EDITOR: The killing yesterday of radio talkshow personality Ricardo “Gladiator” Welch is further proof that criminals are firmly in control of this country and the Prime Minister needs to consider enforcing a state of emergency.
Murders continue to soar and the detection rate is poor which means criminals are getting away with murder. You can burn someone’s house down and walk the streets the next day or go and have a beer in a bar and “knock some pool”, with absolutely no fear of being arrested. The murder conviction rate in this country seems to be steadily declining as criminals continue to operate with impunity.
The city of New York has an estimated population of 10 million and their murder rate for 2017 was 290 murders. Our murder rate for 2017 was 494 and it currently stands at 422 as of October 20, 2018 with a population of just over 1.3 million. This is an alarming statistic and cause for serious concern.
Based on these statistics alone Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley should announce a state of emergency for Trinidad and Tobago. Under the State Of Emergency, members of the security forces must be empowered to stop and search individuals on the street, search places and arrest criminals without a warrant, and curtail the operating hours of businesses.
In addition, motorists using roads will be subject to regular vehicle and personal search. Citizens must be urged to assist in the search for weapons and wanted murderers and rapists. There is growing agitation, hopelessness, anxiety and impatience among citizens, opposition politicians and the private sector over this deplorable crime situation that keeps getting worse everyday.
Many people can give stories of frightening experiences of being robbed at gunpoint or losing a loved one to murder. There is an apparent normalisation of crime in T&T. There is also a new trend of people being gunned down in cases of mistaken identity. Will the PM please call a State of Emergency.