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TTMA voices concern at continued high murder rate

 As the country started the New Year with seven murders already after last year’s record 407 murder toll, the Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers’ Association (TTMA)  has joined the growing number of business voices expressing concern at the continued high murder rate, and general high crime levels in the country.

“Four hundred murders for 2013 is 400 too many for our society. We need all stakeholders (government and non-government) on board to work toward resolving this very serious problem in order to move forward with our nation’s developmental goals,” the association said in a release yesterday. 

Crime affects all of us, and those in the business community are hard hit by high crime levels, the association said, with the cost to engage business  increasing because of high security costs, as well as employees’ inability to work night shifts out of fear for safety.  

“These costs act as a disincentive to investors, and affect the country’s overall competitiveness.  Crime and theft are cited as the main factors affecting business in Trinidad and Tobago according to the World Economic Forum’s 2013 Global Competitiveness Report,” the TTMA said.

The TTMA called for stakeholders to conscientiously work together toward resolving the problem in a meaningful, sustainable and impactful manner. 

“Issues of protection of our borders and scanners at the port should be fast tracked. Trinidad and Tobago has a plethora of legislation in place to deal with crime at all levels; however there is a deficiency in enforcement, detection and conviction. Measures need to be put in place to deal with these short-comings. The TTMA appreciates that a safe and secure environment is one that leads to increased productivity and thus is prepared to work with the Minister of National Security, the government and all stakeholders to engage this process,” the Association said.

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