There is this building hysteria about crime. Everyone, from
school babes to grandparents and great-grands, tout bagai,
are being sensitised to the burning issue of the rate of crime
and crime in this context is confined to the daily murders
in certain hot spots along the East-West corridor and the
constant fear of kidnapping for ransom with which business
people are now forced to live.
These are indeed troubling and dangerous times and it is for
precisely this reason that one ought to be very circumspect
of how one proceeds to vent the issues and address the matter.
History has taught us that hysteria only makes matters worse
and the results of hysteria on a national scale can be more
horrifying than the burning issue that people originally sought
to solve. Citizens of T&T need to be warned of the road
upon which we have embarked.
Marching up and down the country insisting that crime be stopped
forthwith can only be the action of semi-idiots who fail to
comprehend that dealing with crime is a holistic process that
has to do with how society is organised and how citizens are
nurtured from cradle to grave.
Moreover, what these semi-idiots do not recognise is that
such a short-sighted, mechanistic demand on the powers-that-be
can promulgate nothing short of total lock-downs and heavy-handed
policing that will serve to curtail much of the freedoms and
democratic rights for which we have fought over the years
and about which we are so proud.
Our opposition MPs, dejected by their loss of office, have
proven by and far to be the leading lights, but certainly
not the only ones, generating this kind of hysteria as they
seek to politicise the crime issue as a platform around which
to rally supporters, as well as gain recognition from the
percentage of citizens who remain neutral in relation to the
two opposing camps.
The Fyzabad MP, Chandresh Sharma, it is reported, made the
claim that rape, kidnapping and murder were being done
by agents of the PNM, or that there is state-sponsored
discrimination, murder and kidnapping. And one is left
to wonder who in T&T genuinely believes that.
The credibility of such statements is not important to Mr
Sharma and his colleagues, what is crucial to them is that
distrust and suspicion are sufficiently planted, that the
political divide is widened and may bring them the success
of putting 100,000 marchers against crime on the
streets of Central Trinidad calling in unison on the present
government to resign if it cannot deal with the crime issue
Likewise is the statement from the illustrious Leader of the
Opposition that the present government cannot deal with crime
because members of the government are using the diplomatic
pouches of the state to transport drugs and that the surveillance
equipment brought in for use by the protective forces is being
kept at Prime Minister Mannings home and is being used
to spy on the UNC.
Comic-book characteristics, we dare say, but it works for
him because people listen and one wonders how anyone could
take such tomfoolery seriously. When hysteria is the order
of the day, there is no room for intelligent reasoning.
What has begun to develop as a result of the hysteria is a
quick-draw mentality. There is a report in the
Guardian of May 27 that says the following: ...In a
brief moment of panic over the rising crime wave, a southern
businessman shot a man he mistook for a bandit or kidnapper...
The victim turned out to be an innocent passer-by whose father
plays with a leading Indian orchestra... The businessman admitted
to police he had made a mistake...
The man had looked at the businessman in the eyes, then placed
his hand in his pocket so the businessman quickly whipped
out his licensed firearm and fired...
We will hear lots more such stories as indeed we will hear
about the police themselves, chained up by the very hysteria,
shooting down innocent people.
The PNM is once again going to attempt to bring the Police
Reform Bill before Parliament with the hope of getting the
support of the opposition to pass this proclamation to give
teeth to the police management as a key prerequisite to dealing
with the crime issue.
What would be the case if the government was inclined to begin
putting its own 100,000 marchers on the streets
to force the opposition to support these anti-crime initiatives?
The result will be double jeopardy for this country, ie increased
mass hysteria and probably open warfare.
We have said before and wish to repeat again that 75 per cent
of the crimes today are drug related. The drug trade is by
far too lucrative and therefore too attractive. The only way
to defeat it is to remove its profitability, and that means
legalising all drugs.
The whole world will be forced to do so eventually or be dragged
down into an amoral abyss of no return by this trade that
is calculated internationally to turn over annually some US$380
billion. In the meanwhile societies such as T&T will have
to deal with all levels of crime that are direct or indirect
outgrowths of this trade.
When a drug transaction goes sour and professional assassins
are sent or brought into this country to exterminate someone,
it is all business and totally impersonal, there
is no connection, no relationship between the murderer and
the victim, so the police are hard-pressed to even unearth
a probable clue to pursue.
Most other crimes are the result of some relationship, so
the police will begin investigation by checking out those
closest to the victim and widening the net until a motive
The drug-related crimes are a completely different kettle
of fish. For one thing the likely guilty ones are the aged
barons, citizens of substance, with their jackets and ties,
castles and expensive automobiles, with their legal cover
of supposed legit businesses and even religious
zealousness, talking in one breath of how hard they have worked,
and in the other breath dispatching murder and mayhem.
Then down below are the common herd of blingers,
young cattle-fodder with their three-quarter pants, sleeveless
tops, expensive sneakers, dozens of huge gold rings and massive
chains with Tech-9s in their waits, with no visible, legit
cover, easy to spot and easy to take down, only to be replaced
by yet another.
They also possess a quick-draw mentality but are
bad and vicious only when they have the upper hand on a helpless
Heard one recently in the pen of the Arima court calling out
to his mother: ...Mammy, ah love yuh! Doh forget to
bring the sheet! And the mother walked out of the court,
head bowed, and the tears running down her face. She does
not answer but you know she will bring sheets, so the cold
in the night would not burst his tail...
The man said we are a society at war with itself,
yuh done know.