SAYING nowhere, not even in one's own home, is safe anymore from criminals and gunmen, Oropouche West MP Davendranath Tancoo has likened TT to the Wild, Wild West of yesteryear, where the only power lay in the barrel of a gun.
With at least five murders recorded on the weekend, including that of a policeman in Tobago, and the murder toll reaching 530, Tancoo also wondered what it would take the Government to finally come out of its slumber and take meaningful action on crime and violence.
“Yesterday (Saturday), on the doorstep of Starbucks in Sun Plaza, Monroe Road, a man was murdered in full view of families who went to buy coffee, or who went to buy bread in the Quikshoppe or chicken and chips in Royal Castle or to fill gas on the same compound.
“Yesterday at Movie Towne, families had to run in fear as violence broke out and a man was shot. We have become the wild, wild west,” Tancoo said at the UNC's weekly Sunday press briefing. He was joined by Senator Wade Mark.
“Everyday we see videos in real time of criminals assaulting, robbing and murdering citizens.”
Painting a picture of the trauma citizens of all ages are enduring because of the crime wave, Tancoo called on people.
“Imagine your infant son or daughter going to school and when they are supposed to be learning to count, read and write and draw, the first thing they have to learn to do is how to duck and hide from bullets.”
He said it was a sad indictment on the country when everywhere one goes, one is at risk of being murdered.
“You are not safe in school, in the grocery or in the parlour, in the mall, in the Chinese restaurant, by the doubles man or coconut vendor. You are not safe even in your own home,” he said.
Tancoo said today's criminals do not care about race or gender or age.
“Nobody is safe anywhere in this country. Embassies are warning their citizens about travelling to this country because crime is so bad.” Last week the US State Dept in its latest country advisory on TT, asked all Americans to reconsider visiting TT.
He also criticised Speaker Bridgid Annisette-George for blanking Barataria/San Juan MP Saddam Hosein’s call for the House of Representatives to debate crime as a matter of urgent public importance.
“There should have been no objection, because everybody is affected by this crime tsunami burying this country in blood.” Tancoo said he was certain even the Speaker knew someone directly affected by the crime scourge.
Commenting on the Prime Minister posting Facebook photos of himself with retired WI cricket legend Viv Richards on the golf course, Tancoo said he does not begrudge Dr Rowley having fun.
“But when you put yourself up to be elected to office, to represent and serve people, for God’s sake serve the people nah man. If you have been elected to be Prime Minister, for God’s sake be the Prime Minister. Grow up! There is a crisis, lead or get out of the way.
“Corruption is now endemic under this PNM Government, like it was under every previous PNM government. Crime is worse than ever before. Then there is flooding, infrastructural neglect, poverty, unemployment...this government is failing at every turn,” he declared.