Crime in T&T: When Villains have it better than Heroes
It’s with a heavy heart that I’m writing this piece.
The crime situation in Trinidad and Tobago is no longer getting out of control; we’ve long passed that stage. Like the movie “Inception”, we’re in a dream of crime where one cannot tell the difference between reality and the supernatural.
Over the past five years, there have been over 2,500 murders. This year, there have been over 330 murders, and by the time this piece gets published that figure would have increased. So why can’t we stop these murders or at least decrease the numbers drastically? Where are we falling short as a nation? What are we doing wrong? Do we really want to fix this problem?
I strongly believe that, years ago, a group of criminals sat down and wrote the laws that govern this country, because the justice system seems to be on their side. Criminals in this country have more rights than innocent people, or so it seems.
We see examples of such in the daily newspapers. For instance, a bandit storms grocery, puts mother and baby behind the nozzle of a gun, mother asks to put baby down in crib, and cleverly returns with her own big-ass gun and shoots one bandit. Bandit number two flees the crime scene. Our ‘caring’ newspaper, in glee, plasters the supermom’s picture on the front page, divulging her address, while not producing pictures of the bandits, maybe because they don’t want to risk a defamation suit from suspects. They don’t think about how publicising victims’ exact location places them in further danger.
A mother and child are dismembered, their body parts dumped. Again, the photograph of the killer is not published in the papers, so all we get is a vague description of the killer. So this human blender could have been in the grocery line standing beside me and I’m unaware?
“What we need is for the papers to print the address, phone numbers, Blackberry pins, and photographs of these criminals.”
What we need is for the papers to print the address, phone numbers, Blackberry pins, and photographs of these criminals. We want to know where these freaking criminals are, not the heroes. This is similar to the “Employee of the Month” competition some fast food restaurants have running, where they proudly display to their customers employees who worked the hardest. To tell you the honest truth, I’m more interested in the employees who didn’t make the list. I want to know the employee who they caught removing a boogie from their nose while preparing food, so that I can ask for someone else to serve me.
Most recently tonnes of guns were discovered at a house in Valsayn. The perpetrators behind this are out on bail. Please note that there were enough guns in that house to start World War III. They were caught red-handed, and yet they walk among us. How can the law allow them to be out on bail? They are the people who are supplying the ‘little duncey black boys’ in Laventille, Sea Lots, Belmont, and other areas with guns. The last time I checked, the ‘little black boy’ doesn’t own a plane or a boat to bring these guns into the country.
“Why don’t we deal with the source?”
Why don’t we deal with the source? Let’s address the non-violent offences made by the wealthy businesspersons who have cheating as their central element. They are the culprits, the real wolves in sheep clothing, who fuel the crime situation in our dear land. They may not have directly pulled the trigger of the gun that killed ‘that guy’ in the news, but their dirty money and connections would have brought the guns into the country. The schemes, fraud and bribery are what we have to rid this twin island of. Why aren’t we doing this? Is it because we’re afraid of where or who it might lead to?
The recent extradition of Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke from Jamaica to the USA uncovered alleged links between the raging crime situation and certain high-profile, government officials in that country. If we in Trinidad were to seriously pursue white-collar crimes, where would the trail lead to? Curtailing these sorts of high profile activities would go a long way in stopping the guns from coming into the country, which would in turn stem death by the gun. We must also ask why are prominent lawyers defending known criminals?
We need a complete overhaul of our justice system, with no bail for second-time offenders, and an increase in the penalty for drug dealers and suppliers. Resume the death penalty. I rather my tax money go into purchasing rope to hang killers than to send them to jail to fatten them. Buy out all the rope from Bhagwansingh’s Hardware, and hang murderers by their balls. To those who believe hanging is wrong and inhumane, let me suggest the electric chair or death by needle.
We cannot continue to show these demons mercy, because they have none for us. Those in charge need to seriously pursue white-collar crime, and computerize the police and justice system.
Corporal punishment needs to be reintroduced in schools. A few strokes never killed anyone. I’m living testament of that. Yeah, I know people will come down on me for that statement, but really, children are giving teachers hell in school, because they don’t have to fear ‘licks’, and somehow, Caribbean children seem to think twice about giving trouble at the thought of a guava whip descending on their tails.
What I’m saying may seem harsh, and I’m no expert in criminology, but we need to do something before we become stats ourselves. Trinbago needs to wake up from this deep sleep, and get tough on crime. So what will it be?