THE EDITOR: I see that the Minister of National Security and the Commissioner of Police have declared war on criminals. Long before, commentators and politicians had been criticising and calling on the Government to do something about crime.
As I see it, nothing can be done about crime in TT by way of reactionary strategies. My argument is built on historical and sociological analysis.
We complain about the state of the world, crime and the state of the economy in our society. However, have we ever paused to understand how the world and our society have evolved? Indeed, what link is there between us and the events of the world? Believe it or not, this link is rooted in people and the family. Human beings were created to learn from birth from those whom they meet. This is called socialisation. Yes! We learn from our elders and peers.
The history of mankind is the product of people who have been born and lived over time. Crime and the state of the environment, the society, and the economy in TT are the results of the behaviour of our people since independence – almost 57 years ago. Yes! We created the legacy – good or evil – that characterises today’s society.
So, tell me! To what extent can draconian measures now solve our crime problems? Further, which category of criminal will be the target? One thing the Berlin Wall policy of the cold war and the prohibition ban in the US on the production, importation, transportation, and sale of alcoholic beverages from 1920 to 1933 taught me is that law enforcement or military pushback cannot permanently shape the character or make angels of people.
As a parent, I have discovered that unless we socialise our children along the right path from birth, we will lose them. Wrong socialisation has led us astray since the days of the oil boom when money and high living became the order of the day. Yes! We all became big shots in our own right and sought wealth by any means necessary.
Perhaps all that we can do now is to begin an appropriate process of socialisation, simultaneously ensuring that all criminals – small and big – are caught, punished, and rehabilitated. Indeed, we may have to rid ourselves by way of the death penalty of those who cannot change.
RAYMOND S HACKETT