Empower police to deal with crime
When I look at the way our leaders choose to address our troubles, it is often with a sense of saddened amazement.
Two current burning issues come to mind— crime, and unprovoked canine attacks. Both problems are complex and have been long in the making, crime of course being the bigger and more complex one.
Yet we appear to legislate without understanding of the root causes, and the information is there to assist, but appears to be ignored, quick fixes, that don’t fix anything and self-aggrandisement seem to be preferred.
Crime goes up, particularly murders, especially gang-related, and the powers-that-be trot out the death penalty threat. It is nothing short of laughable.
The gangsters themselves have realised that their adversaries are not afraid of dying, to the point they have started to target young relations and friends in order to send a message.
Our leaders are still trying to get hanging re-started. And that ignores all the steps before we can get to hanging, catching the perpetrator, gathering evidence that can stand in court, having adequate judicial resources, winning the cases etc.
It’s a non-solution that may sound as though something is being done, but will have no measurable effect.
To my knowledge nowhere in the world, has the death penalty been proven to be an effective deterrent. Another idea trotted out is the assignment of police powers to soldiers, another non-solution. Trinidad has one of the highest per-capita numbers of police; do we really need more “boots on the ground”?
Wouldn’t a smaller, but more professional force, better trained and educated, better resourced, better compensated, backed by solid intelligence capabilities be much more effective than an “armed CEPEP gang”?
How about supporting the police with assets to protect our borders, with integrated CCTV systems, with enough trained sniffer dogs? How about efforts at improved regional and international co-operation?
Make no mistake, what we are facing is international in nature. What about the other aspects needed to really address the problem long term, proper child welfare services, addressing poverty and inequality, seriously tackling corruption and money laundering?
We are only fooling ourselves if we think we can address violent crime without addressing entrenched white-collar crime. The same resources stolen could have been used to help with many of the ills that now plague us.
The canine issue is another area where the approach is lacking, the amended bill may be a small step in the right direction, but again the causes are not dealt with.
The proliferation of guard dogs is a direct response to the crime problem; it is a fact that homes with such dogs have a much lower incidence of break-ins and home invasions, and all the horrible act that accompanying acts.
At the same time owning such an animal/companion, brings with it great responsibility, and frankly many people who own them shouldn’t even own a goldfish.
We have chosen to basically ban a breed (again something that has proven to not work in other places, as the bad owners simply switch breed), rather than look to education, breeding standards, temperament testing, training standards, welfare requirements, dedicated animal control and welfare unit and so on.
After 51 years, we must be able to do better, when will we learn?