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Letter: Crime in perspective in Trinidad and Tobago
Published on February 25, 2014 Email To Friend    Print Version

Dear Sir:

In an interview on the Spin Cycle radio program, we were told by well known senior police officer Inspector Alexander of the North Eastern Division Task Force that at least 75 percent of the people murdered for the year so far were people who were themselves well known to the police, many out on bail or before the courts with multiple matters; others still suspected in other very serious crimes and questions now have to be asked.

Estimated by this writer as 60 of the 72 murders so far, at what point do we allow ourselves the brevity of saying that some of these killings are devoid of negative consequence and that we are better off today because of their passing?

This is deep end of the pool stuff, and maybe this is why rank and file Trinbagonians are not making the fuss they might be expected to be making despite the sensationalizing of each new kill by the media and it begs asking are we as a society so fed up of the lawless elements that we take comfort in their demise?

Of all the things we've ever polled, no one to my knowledge has polled how society feels about having a strongman of the likes of Randolph Burroughs back in charge of the police force, yet this is precisely what most people say after they've thrown their hands up in the air in exasperation at the violent crime statistics, that we need someone to 'deal' with these underworld types.

So what's changed?

Well it seems that, despite all the political rhetoric emanating from certain opposition quarters, the efforts of this minister of national security and that of the men and women of the combined arms of our law enforcement are finally bearing fruit.

The bad boy gangsters of the last administration have found themselves suddenly against the wall, and cut off from their sources of funding through dubious and questionable state contracts and have been forced into fighting each other in a bloody war over ever shrinking turf.
 Penned in and pinned down by a serious zero tolerance offensive by the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service, many in the underworld are realizing to their dismay that the line that has been drawn in the sand is not something to be tested or trifled with.

So should we shed a tear for those who have treated the laws and our otherwise peaceful society as a doormat to wipe their stinking blood soaked boots on when they meet their just reward?

You decide.

When the judge sentenced the man who raped young Pixie Lackhan six times over the course of four hours before strangling her to death with her school belt in April 2005, I stood up and applauded. If that is not someone who needed removing from society for the greater good then pray tell, who is?

We must not shed a tear for anyone who could contemplate much less carry out such an horrendous act as what was done to poor Pixie, who for all of her 16 years could never have imagined that this was how her life would end, neither must we shed a tear when those who live by the sword die by it.

This is what I meant by this being deep end of the pool stuff.

We are being challenged to stand up by the people who are putting their lives on the line for us daily and we are bound as citizens to respond in the affirmative and stand in their support.

Acting Senior Superintendent of the Central Division Johnny Abraham said in the same interview yesterday that had one piece of advice for those who might be thinking of coming into his division to ply their barbarous trade – reconsider.

Judging by the plummeting crime statistics in his division and the almost superstar status he has achieved among the law abiding residents of those communities, I would think that might be good advice.

The men and women of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service need our trust, our help and our support.

We the citizens of this nation need to rededicate ourselves to ending violent crime in our country, and by working together with the protective services, see to it that those who would choose violence and other means to upset the peaceful order find reason to reconsider.

Phillip Edward Alexander
Reads: 1798

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