Thursday, June 9, 2011

Is Trindad & Tobago Becoming The Murder Capital of The Caribbean?



Too Much Focus on the Wrong Metric 

Using the murder rate to measure the effectiveness of Trinidad and Tobago’s law enforcement performance is irrational.    

That’s putting it gently; we all know that law enforcement agencies do not commit murders.  At least, when they do it’s in the “prevention” of crime and not counted as murder. 

What people do in their homes, in the bushes at night or more alarmingly in broad daylight is not and will never be under the control of any law enforcement agency.   What law enforcement agencies do in response to a murder is the only thing they can actually control.

There are specific actions that should be monitored and measured that are never mentioned in any report on crime.  For example, the response time to a crime.   

How fast are the police on the scene after a crime has been reported?  That number will give citizens a measure of assurance that their calls will be answered.  

Another very important number to know is the conviction rate.  How many crimes are actually solved?  How many went to court and a conviction was obtained?  Having that number would work wonders on the rate of murders.  

It really is impossible to change what is not measured. 

When we look at the wrong number the problem persist.  There is a saying that goes "we attract more of what we focus on". In this case, is it because we focus on the murder rate?.   

That is not rocket science. Any serious law enforcement effort must take these metric into consideration.  Say that we had 10 less murders this year than last is what is know in public relations as "spinning"..

The people and by extention the government should not accept the murder rate as a measure of efficiency, 

For the sake of public safety let’s stop calling the wrong number.

Does that make sense?