THE murder of a Tobago woman on Saturday night has pushed the island's total to ten for 2023, matching last year's total.
Canaan Feeder Road resident Rae Ann Henry, also known as Lucy, is the latest murder victim.
Police reports said shortly after 9 pm on Saturday, 39-year-old Henry had a quarrel with another woman and was stabbed several times. She was taken to the Scarborough General Hospital, where she died of her injuries.
Crime analyst and adviser to the THA chief secretary Anselm Richards described the incident as unfortunate as he warned against a violent culture emerging.
He told Newsday, “Very unfortunate for a small island, an island that is defined by close-knit communities, an island of close-knit families where everybody knows everybody. So when you have these kinds of fatal developments, it affects the entire community. As we say, all ah we is one family.”
He said the incident spoke to a national issue, as a solution to crime must be found. He made note of the invitation by the Prime Minister and chairman of the National Security Council to the Opposition Leader for a discussion to address crime.
“I don’t know if he would engage in a similar exercise with the Tobago House of Assembly. So that is something we need to call out the prime minister on almost immediately. Because whilst we are not recording the numbers ,in terms of absolute numbers of over 400 murders, ten murders in a population of 60,000-65,000, when you do the per-capita crime ratio, it would be higher than the 400 in a population of 1.3 million.”
He said Tobago was a tourism destination and safety was one of the factors influencing and informing visitors' choice of destination, and crime could affect the global demand of the tourism product being offered.
“We have a greater stake to ensure that the island is safe and all our safety issues are properly informed and attended, so an enforcement comes with it.”
He added: “For Tobagonians, I think that these ten murders are ten too much. All of us are affected, given the data and the culture of the island.
"There are some factors that are changing as we relate and live with each other. We definitely have to do the research, we have do the monitoring, record it and come up with some intervention policies and interventions to push back against this violent culture that is emerging in this small space.”