Crime reductionå tops wish-list

By Carla Bridglal

An overall reduction in serious crimes, especially gruesome murders and violations against children, is at the top of the wish-list business leaders have for 2014.
Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Commerce chief executive Catherine Kumar said on Tuesday the organisation’s hope was to see increased attention paid to the crime situation.
“While we have seen reduction in serious crime it is still at an unacceptable level, it continues to impact business and life in general. We are concerned by the type of crimes, how gruesome murders are becoming. This will continue to impact the economy,” she said.
She said the Chamber sill expected a bullish economy in 2014, particularly since the energy sector is set to rebound, but diversification processes needed to continue.
“I think all in all our real wish and prayer is for each of us to recognise it will start with us; the Government is integral but we all have a role and we should each work to make our country the best in the world,” she said.
American Chamber (AmCham) president Hugh Howard said the best thing to happen for the country would be for everyone to have mutual respect and consideration.
Howard said: “We need to get away from this selfish attitude, crazy driving; instead of helping each other we want to pull each other down.
“I grew up in an era where people genuinely looked out for each other. That seems to have unfortunately dissipated.
“When I was growing up there was no question with being one’s brother’s keeper. What hurts me the most is seeing the disrespect and callous behaviour toward children.
“These are things I would love to see … a vibrant economy is good and necessary so people can enjoy the things we need in life, but the obsession with being rich and getting money by any means I hope we can get away from. These are the things I pray for and if by some miracle they can be the truth.”
San Fernando Business Association president Daphne Bartlett wished all citizens a safe and happy 2014.
She, too, noted the upsurge in certain crimes against children and domestic violence.
“Our association was formed ten years ago to call for a week of prayer against these crimes; we are seeing so much, it’s like a devil is loose again. We want to see a decrease,” she said.
She cautioned young women to choose good partners and for young mothers to be careful of the men they introduced into their children’s lives.
“It breaks our hearts every time we hear about (these incidents against children). It is our hope and prayer to God (that these situations improve),” she said yesterday.
Bartlett also called for a reduction in “noise” from special interest groups who might want to cause some sort of upheaval in society.
“We hope we want to see peace and quiet…we hope people who like to cause damage in the country will not make too much noise just because it is the lead-up to an election year,” she said.
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