ERROL S PILGRIM
THE TENDENCY of certain opinion leaders to politicise crime and, in the interest of those opposed to the Rowley government, to foster public disgust with current crime-fighting efforts can only serve to embolden the sociopaths in our midst and to boost their criminal, anti-social behaviour.
Moreover, such positions taken by some opinion writers can also serve to make more challenging and frustrating the already thankless task of those hard-working men and women on the ground who represent our law-enforcement agencies.
Within recent times, the editorial writers employed by one leading newspaper with many years of experience to its name have seemed intent on openly peddling the UNC’s self-serving resolve to blame the Government for the murders committed by unsavoury elements who are without any sense of moral responsibility or social conscience and are totally consumed by evil.
Those editorial writers, whose job should be to foster an informed and rational public opinion, have increasingly resorted to the “blame game,” seeking in their most recent offering to encourage the population to target Prime Minister Rowley, National Security Minister Stuart Young, Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi, Police Commissioner Gary Griffith “and other members of the Cabinet” as being wholly responsible for the spike in murder, pointlessly asking them “how many more must die.”
But the goal of the blame game is not to pursue the journalistic imperative to enlighten, inform or educate. Its goal is to weaken the Government by pushing it on the defensive, the objective of those opposition politicians who are desperate to reclaim the national patrimony that they so completely squandered and abused not so long ago.
It is clear that by their tunnel vision on crime, those aforementioned editorial writers are pursuing a political agenda that they believe to be carefully veiled, but an agenda that will surely grow more manifest as the 2020 general election draws nigh.
Unfortunately, it is to the detriment of the society in general and the setback to law enforcement in particular that they have sought to bring murder within that perverted political purview.
However, any non-partisan, objective review of the alarming crime situation that deeply concerns every right-thinking member of this society would seek to debunk the belief and the attitude of many of our citizens that controlling crime is solely the task of the Government, the police, the courts and the correction agencies.
What many informed observers have increasingly sought to make clear is that crime cannot be controlled without the interest and participation of schools, churches, businesses, social agencies, non-governmental organisations and individual citizens.
In other words, the entire law-abiding population.
One inescapable fact hovering over the long season of crime and lawlessness affecting TT is that our criminal justice system has not been as effective as it should be. And an impartial look at the situation would seek to determine the extent to which that criminal justice system has failed to keep apace with changes in crime and criminality.
The result is reflected not only in the increasing audacity with which the criminal-minded engage in their evil deeds but in the tendency of hardened criminals and their clever lawyers to run rings around the police and the prosecution.
It is in recognition of the near futility of that defective criminal justice system that the Government has been intent in pursuing changes that conform to the need for establishing effective command and control in a 21st century environment – changes before which the official opposition UNC has sought time and again to place whatever legislative stumbling blocks it could muster.
It is that fact that is yet to engage the attention of certain of the editorial writers.
Once those writers are able to temper their journalistic hysteria and hypocrisy and to focus their minds and use their pens objectively, they may discover that the required invigoration of the criminal justice system must include not only new law enforcement procedures, tactics and techniques, but a revolution in the way we, as a budding society, think about crime.