Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley says that crime has reached a highly unacceptable level in Trinidad and Tobago.
Speaking to reporters at the Piarco International Airport on Saturday evening following his return from a two-week trip to the United States, Ghana, and England, Rowley raised concern about the violent state of the society and a society where persons can be killed for the “slightest thing”.
He stated, “The general behaviour and lack of respect for human life in Trinidad and Tobago has come down now to the level where one is beginning to question the general conduct.”
He added, “I’m seeing a lot of people being killed without firearms being used…it was aggravation of one kind and another. One could put them under the question mark of senseless but at the end of the day the level of violence in Trinidad is just too high and unacceptable and the Government’s role in this, in many instances, doesn’t begin until after the crime has been committed. So we have to ensure that we do nothing to encourage the growth in this kind of behaviour.”
Is crime linked to the downturn in the economy?
Here is what the Prime Minister said: “So one doesn’t exclude the other. It’s just a problem of violent conduct. Our society is labelling itself as a violent society and one can lose one’s life for the slightest thing and that is not a matter that the Government can come and say I’m going to flick a switch and turn it off.”
Dr Rowley stated, “Where we can do things we will do. For example the speed guns. I understand it’s having an effect but there are things that we can do and at the end of the day the national security agencies and the Government at large has a responsibility to bring about a feeling of safety to the national community and those things we’ll keep doing on a sustained basis.”