THE EDITOR: Why are youths of today so angry? Who’s to blame – the government or parents? They gave children the upper hands which they use unreservedly. Trinidad and Tobago is not immune to youth criminal activities since this is a global phenomenon. In the US, youths are mass murderers shooting their colleagues with impunity, with little or no remorse.
While crime continues unabated, have you noticed the perpetrators of crime are getting younger and younger? They were once babies in a family, loved by many and came from a home. So what went wrong? Where did parents go wrong? There is an absence of God in the home and absence of fathers or mothers in the home. Single parenting has become the norm. No training and disciplining of kids and increased self-indulgent youths are contributors to the continued growing crime rate.
Blame the government. Over the last decade, the Ministry of National Security has received the largest share of the budget allocation, yet it is unable to reduce crime. The criminals seem to be ahead of the game, given the easy accessibility to small arms and light weapons (guns). There appears to be turmoil within the Ministry of National Security – given the recent plea by Minister Young to the Judiciary to work with the TTPS regarding sentences, which he alluded, should be aligned to the crime.
What is the role of the Ministry of Social Services given the upsurge of fighting and violence in schools. The plasters on sores and short term polices have proven to be ineffective. Increased domestic violence are affecting the youths from such homes. Youth suicide is also on the increase. With millions of dollars of oil money down the drain due to alleged corruption, the ministry is hampered and, as such there, is insufficient housing for families seeking refuge, and keeping them together.
And what of the education system which is failing and is also a contributor to crime. Removal of corporal punishment from schools was replaced with nothing. However, youths realised they had the upper hand and the power which they continue to use unreservedly. All over the county government secondary schools are adorned with barbed wire fences. Is this preparation for incarceration in the ‘big” jail? The tag line “Schools for All” continues to have negative outcomes. Thirty per cent of students are failing SEA annually and being placed in secondary schools. This is the scenario: Johnny in form one realises he cannot cope with the work, so he disrupts the class, he is then suspended (no supervision at home) and then starts liming on the block, The drugman, gangman and religious groups waiting in the wings to recruit him. Live fast and die young, they proudly boast, “It has a bullet with my name.”
So where do we go from here? Been doing the same thing for decades and same negative result, this is described as Madness. The more things change, the more they remain the same. As wild wild West – TT style – continues unabated, the crime (murder) rate is fasting approaching the 400 mark.