THE Prime Minister is calling on parents assist in the fight against crime by instilling moral values into their children.
Speaking to the media at the new Shirvan Police Station, Shirvan Road, Tobago, Dr Rowley said the biggest battle in dealing with crime starts at home and called on parents to take up the roles of positive mentors for their children.
"A lot of the behaviour of the young people in this country in particular is parents who allow their children to grow up without a decent standard of behaviour. I know some people will take offence, but I have no other story. The churches are still open, but they are not going to make a difference, because from toddler stag,e parents must instill in their children: there is right and wrong, there is yours and there is theirs. Good behaviour is what will give them the best opportunity to inherit what this country has to offer."
He said support from parents will make significant progress in dealing with crime issues. At the end of a six-hour tour on Monday morning around some of Tobago's major construction sites, such as the Dwight York Stadium, the Roxborough Administrative Complex and the new Shirvan Police Station, Rowley said the government is working overtime towards enhancing the functions of the police so that their detection level and policing can improve.
Commenting on the murder toll of 60 for 2019, the Prime Minister said TT has made a name for itself as a violent society. "For a lot of those murders, some people have taken the position that crime is the business of crime; others have taken it as crime of passion; some are within families; some are on the streets – there is a whole range of crime but it always seems to be somebody thinks that snuffing out somebody's life is the way to handle a situation. We have to work our way back from that and be better than that as a people."
He said he was disappointed in the recent robberies and assault of a Canadian couple, Roderick Mac Mullin and his wife Lina and British tourists Mark Petherick, 66, and Rosemary Petherick, 67. The Pethericks were robbed of TT$101, US$60 and a camera while walking along the beach at Arnos Vale Beach, Plymouth, last Wednesday. Days before. the Mac Mullins were beaten with a golf club while sunbathing at Grafton Beach and also robbed of their valuables.
Rowley said, "I'm disappointed when we put so much effort into trying to make the place attractive to visitors and then some idiot goes and do something like that and undo everything we have it. It now gives the place a name we don't want."
He said there is a need to encourage citizens, especially young people to the future of the country into consideration.
"If we were to are to promote Tobago as a tourist destination, that is the last thing we want – people preying on the tourist – and all tourist destinations have that as a daily problem."