Put emphasis on the youth to beat crime
I have been seriously pondering whether I have been just merely more mad, or downright more foolish than all others on the topic of crime and violence in Trinidad and Tobago. And I have been [pondering] this since 1990/1991, when I started to remind the Minister of Education that crime is not a matter mainly for National Security ministers and the protective services, but rather one for all ministers of Education. In other words, how are the police to be blamed for every murder committed in our country?
Or, maybe, we must hold them responsible for failure to hold every perpetrator. But then, do they have to solve every individual case, especially in this day and age when criminals seem to be so proudly graduating from wherever and whenever into criminality?
Nonetheless, we must all agree the detection rate is quite far from satisfactory. And I say so especially in the area of gang violence, which we so love to blame for the majority of the murders. Perhaps much more comprehensive research within communities can be initiated to help catch the culprits.
But then, where is the evidence to incriminate gangsters as chief offenders? And whether or not the blame balances in favour of organised crime, the fact of the matter is that there is a substantial number of murders that fall nowhere within the realm of gangsterism. So what do we do?
Our main problem therefore is in our emphasis on crime detection rather than prevention.
We behave as though we should expect policemen to rush to every potential murder scene to warn against committing the act. But we just cannot achieve this goal even with a population ratio of 100 policemen to every single person. And here lies the very reason why crime is obviously getting beyond our control.
For any significant reduction in crime, therefore, what we need to do is to place emphasis not on policemen and soldiers, but rather on our youth by way of good teachers, parents and guardians, uncles and aunts, priests, pundits and imams. Honoraria in this respect will never run into even a fraction of the millions and billions we spend on national security.
Yes, our solution lies in what we hate to hear about—the transformation of lives through the teachings of great sages as role models for imitation and inspiration by our youth. We must bend the tree while it is young. We can turn to the holy books to be inspired by the likes of Jesus Christ, the Messiah or our Lord Krishna or the Great Prophet Mohammed.
We seem to forever forget that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Panmen turn to pan for solution, calypsonians turn to calypso, while sportsmen see sport as the answer.
Perhaps we hear too little from our religious leaders about the role of prayer and worship for this vital transformation so necessary to rescue T&T from ruin.
We need a total revolution in our schools and Sunday schools.
Fifty-one years have now gone, how yuh feel?