President of the TT Religious Association, Rev Winston Mansingh, agrees with the TT Chamber’s position that the country is in a “crime crisis”, something which National Security Minister Stuart Young says the country is not in. Mansingh called on Young to acknowledge the crime crisis and take a multi sectoral approach to dealing with the problem.
Mansingh also called on political parties to stop playing the blame game and work together to bring about a meaningful resolution to an issue that affects all of society.
And to the criminals themselves, Mansingh had a message: “stop your ungodly behaviour because judgement day will come and it will not be good.”
The TT Chamber told government it does not have the luxury of time to deal with the crime crisis and advised that help should be sought from both its Caricom and international partners. Young, not willing to admit to the descriptive, was reported as saying, “I don’t think we are in a place that we want to be. I don’t think we are in a satisfactory place, but no we are not in a crisis.
Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi however, said the Chamber’s statement is a fair communication of concern. “I think that the cry out there is for everybody to play a part. We agree that multiple solutions are required to tackle crime because people need to feel a sense of confidence,” the AG said.
Mansingh said, “With 530 plus murders or reported murders and possibly others which were unreported for 2019, and over 20 in the year 2020, it is of great concern that the minister would state we are not in a crisis.”
“I want to encourage him to stop saying we are not in a crisis, to acknowledge same and call parties together to meet and let there be a multi sectoral approach to addressing crime.”
“It is unfortunate many of us have taken to blaming one person or the other, blaming one political party or the other. Really and truly we are in a crisis and we all need to work together at this time more than ever because at the end of the day it does not matter which political party or religious or social group you are from it is affecting all of us.”
The minister said he was sorry for those who have lost loved ones and advised the Faith-based Network is willing to partner with government to initiate a meaningful resolution. “When we disregard the spiritual element we really weaken our society,” he said.
“TT needs decisive, strategic leadership to treat with crime at this present time. From a spiritual perspective, we can see the effect of the devil on our human society so it is important we turn back to God.” He said there are also social issues that are impacting on the crime and strategic alliances need to be found.