Anti-crime tactics way off target
Reports that our political directorate has decided to take steps to give members of the Defence Force authority to function and perform the duties of police officers have convinced me that the dictum, "Whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad" is not a pie-in-the-sky statement.
Is this move not an unwitting confession on the part of the Government that brute force or sheer numbers is the right pill for our crime headache? This approach to crime reminds me of Alvin Toffler's sarcasm which berated the tendency for us in the present age to address modern-day problems with out-of- date strategies.
The present Government as well as Patrick Manning's administration never gave me the impression that they were aware of the factors which contribute to crime in 21st century T&T. As I see it these factors include:
1. Our collective failure to build a T&T with an ideology which promotes nationalism, discipline, production, and tolerance, while at the same time limits greed and seeking maximum reward and the "good life" for little or no effort.
2. The failure of the police, judicial, and prison systems collectively and individually to contain criminal behaviour in T&T.
3. Our tendency as a people to be concerned only with how we can get ahead of the pack rather than our desire to reflect on why so many of our youth and mature well-to-do citizens have opted for paths of crime.
Almost everything in the book has been tried to stem the tide of crime. All failed because we are too much of a now-for-now people who refuse to accept that childbirth is not an overnight phenomenon. We still cannot understand that effective solutions always need plans which are based on sound philosophies, well-thought-out strategies, a profound understanding of the psychological, social, and physical environment in which these plans are expected to take root.
Unless we realise that no miracle man or woman can help us solve crime, we will continue to be plagued by high crime statistics. Our spiralling crime rates are in my opinion a reflection of the philosophy of a changing world.
Our good citizens now want more wealth so they find ways to increase their wealth. Our youth now believe that they need to live the good life so they make up their minds to die trying to do so. In the interim, what do our leaders do?
They put more bulls in the china shop, hoping that thieves will not enter because of fear of the bulls. Think, my people! How will this help us? Can a dentist help a woman who is faced with a complicated pregnancy deliver a child?
Raymond S Hackett