Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Trinidad & Tobago Carnival 2014 & Crime

Why You Should Not Worry

Christmas done. 2014 Carnival is about to descend on Trinidad and Tobago.  Once again the topic of crime and carnival raises its ugly head.

Carnival is intrinsic to our culture, our tradition it will not be stopped because the number of murders have skyrocketed.

The Brits recently issued a warning to its citizens to be wary when visiting our little paradise in the sun.

Is it justified?  Probably is because if my family was going to visit here, I'll also tell them to be careful, the saye I would if they were going to visit New York City.

To be honest, 2014 murders are happening quicker than the fire works on New Years day, one right after the other.  Nothing like in Mexico but with a population of only 1.3 million people it looks bad.

According to our loud mouth National Security Minister who along with the Commission of Police are singing a "serious crime is down" song for anyone who will sing along with them.  We the people think that murder is serious, that you cannot get more serious than murder and exclude it from other serious crimes.

The National Security Minister is also of the opinion, which he voiced publicly, that it was only criminal killing criminal, therefore decent law abiding citizens are all safe. I wonder what the family of the Pennywise heiress thinks about that assurance.

Let's be real here, the raw reality is that the T&T government cannot stop crime.  No government can.  All any governments can do is pass legislation to deter crimes and install a protective service apparatus to enforce the law.  That's it, so don't fall into that political trap of believing that the government is to blame.

The government cannot stop crimes of passion. The government also cannot stop crimes triggered by materialistic greed for material possessions. Crime is symbolic of a moral and ethical decay. It takes a specific train of thought that would allow anyone to decide that it's ok to take someone's life in the commission of a robbery or for payment in some way. It is also symbolic of a failure, we did not get here suddenly, it's a process' still uncompleted.

What we can blame the government for woefully neglecting their responsibility to enforce the laws.  Detection rate of almost all crimes are ridiculously low, that is our weakness, cities with millions more people have a much higher detection rates.  The integrity of law enforcement officers are more likely than not,  questionable to most citizens.  Most would prefer not to give evidence or in any way become a witness. State witnesses are typically killed, in fact one happened this week.

This is where our successive governments have failed the citizens.  Instead of focusing on detection they prefer to call for new legislation like the aged old Death Penalty that has been proven not to be a crime deterrent in so many other countries. Today with billions of oil dollars spent we still have no DNA labs or mandatory fingerprinting laws or the expertise to run a crime lab.

Instead our police officers are given brute training with no accountability for their actions.  This should be the government's focus and stop selling the lie that they can stop crime.

In the meanwhile, our annual Carnival will continue.  We will party and enjoy what we call "we life" we will not let the likelihood of a murder or two stop us from keeping our tradition alive.  Carnival is part of the process.

Trinidad and Tobago is as safe as any other country in the world.  I just had a social media friend come from Madrid, Spain to live and do business here.  I tell you here like I told him, be care the same way you would be careful in Madrid, Kingston, New York or Paris.  Walk on the safe side, with friends in groups.  Don't go in search of drugs or to engage in other illicit activities; you will be safe. And, like you would do in any major city that you are unfamiliar with; pray..

The likelihood of a crime occurring during the Carnival celebrations is a lot higher than normal but that's only because more people increases the possibilities.  Trinidad and Tobago is nothing close to Beirut or Baghdad, bombs don't just explode killing people by the tens and twenties.

People who are really unfamiliar with Trinidad and Tobago and want to know more should read The Old Board House.  It is one of the more recent books on Trinidad and Tobago, a revised edition by Chad Modeste. .

Visit amazon.com to find more information of crime in Trinidad and Tobago. .