As the year 2013 comes to an end the rate of serious crimes reported in Trinidad continues to rise with a deafening upsurge in the murder rate. But rather than just sitting and complaining about the drastic increase, let us check out the society to see what could be causing the problem and come up with some realistic solutions.
Here is a known fact, the murder and kidnapping rate in this country began to rise dramatically in the year 2002 where there 171 reported murders and 29 kidnappings for ransom.
In 2008 the murder rate was the highest recorded at 550 while 2007 the kidnapping rate rose to a ridiculous 155. The kidnapping rate has since dropped dramatically as only 5 were recorded in 2012 while the homicide rate stands at 380 for 2013 thus far.
Statistically the number of reported murders and kidnappings has dropped, but the murder rate continues to climb as over the weekend four separate homicides were reported. Among them was a 21 year old mother of three who was gunned down during a game of cards.
What causes persons to commit crime leading to murder in the first place. Here are the most common reasons according to psychologist.
- Need (caused by poverty)
- Belief (the person believes the law is wrong)
- Impulse (a crime which is committed on the spur of the moment)
- Influence (alcohol, drugs or peer pressure)
- Gain (crime committed to gain more wealth).
Though these facts may be true here are some additional reasons according to our research which could be causing crime in Trinidad and Tobago:
- Lack of proper parenting
- Rising Food Prices
- A scene of belonging
- Influence of Cable television (parenting) Media “social media, music, movies, viral videos.”
- Easy access to guns and drug trafficking
- Corrupt persons in authority
Lack of Proper Parenting
This topic can go on to no end as many individuals feel strongly about it. The fact is even the best parents are not around their children 24/7 thus leaving room for outer influences to prey on their innocent minds. Another point is that some parents may overlook issues and say stuff like “he just acting out or he will grow out of it.”An example of this is: ” If a child came home with something that didn’t belong to them without a valid explanation, what would you do? Would you (A.) Tell him to return it or (B.) Brush it off as nothing. If you did B sorry, but you could be encouraging your child to do the wrong thing. This is just one of many incidents, but we need to start training our young ones to do the correct things from home. This could steer them away from crime/bad peer pressure.
Rising Food Prices:
As the cost of living continues to rise, some individuals work more than one job just to survive. Individuals complain that they can barely survive on minimum wage and the Social “Food Cards” are not being distributed fairly. The Food Card initiative was put in place to aid the rising food price by distributing them to persons most in need however there are individuals who applied over two years ago that are in need who were rejected. Some claim there are “Corrupt persons in authority” who distribute cards to their friend and even gang members.
A scene of belonging
Some young people join criminal gangs to feel welcomed and loved as they may not be receiving sufficient attention at home. This could be very dangerous as some of these gangs encourage their “new recruits” to commit various wrong tasks in order to be a part of their clan. Most times the new members commit these acts and not only are they welcomed with love but they receive gifts for their duties.
Some persons who commit crime may not do it on their own free will. They could have serious psychological issues e.g. split personalities, severe depression, abuse victim who never received therapy etc.
Influence of Cable television
Parents please monitor what your children watch on the television. i.e. no pg 13 movies.
Media i.e. social media, music, movies, viral videos
With the current social media boom taking place in society, it could be very hard to control. Though CCTV cameras may assist in crime solving some Viral CCTV videos could land anywhere on the internet. An example of this occurs a few months ago when CCTV footage of a man being murdered went viral in this country. How does this cause crime one may ask. According to various responses it would appear that the criminals commit these acts and tune into the local news to view the result of their actions. ”
Some forms of entertainment such as movies, games and music glorify violence and the gangster lifestyle.
Easy access to guns and drug trafficking
The Drug Trade, it is no secret that drugs are being transported world-wide, but if you really take a look at what is fueling the crime there is one big part connecting everything. “Where is all the guns coming from.” According to sources “with every drug shipment there are guns”. Some gangs fight for turf while others have their differences e.g. the North American Crips vs Bloods. The drug trade is the main cause of crime especially in this county. When you think about it carefully most countries that has a high rate of drug trafficking has a high crime and murder rate as well.
Corrupt persons in authority
This can be anyone who has authority, not only police or politicians but anyone can fall into this category.
Military personnel i.e persons in uniform: For years individuals have been fighting against the police and complaining that they do not assist those in direct need. Many individuals complained that officers would not keep their identities personal if they were to inform on suspected criminals in their area. While others complain that the police were corrupt and arrest innocent persons for statistics without sufficient evidence and the list goes on. Long story short, persons are afraid to go to the police to report a potential crime, evidence on a murder suspect, crime suspects etc.
Politicians Individuals complain that politicians only show their face around elections time and magically disappear once elected. According to the masses, every political party comes bearing gifts of “a better life, reduced crime rate via intense crime incentives, lower cost of food etc”. However citizens have yet to see an effective crime plan put in place.
Citizens prefer to pour their faith into the arms of Reality Crime TV host Ian Alleyne who has put many criminals behind bars using the same intelligence and equipment those in authority are privy to.
Persons in Authority: This is self explanatory however here is an example of abuse of authority.Those who abuse their power on individuals who are in direct need.
This is just a summery of information gathered via information a focus group conducted on the issue. Stay tuned for our next article on suggested Solutions of crime.