Crime: A failure of Government
The over 500 murders in Trinidad and Tobago in 2023 and the continued levels of murder in 2024 has many thinking about what has led to this.
Some say it is due to economic conditions, others say it is because of social conditions, while others try to tie it to race or religion or the lack thereof. The reality is that human beings of all races, classes, economic condition, and religions have a history of killing other human beings.
Think for a moment about yourself, if one were to give you a gun today, would you decide to kill another simply because you now have a gun? If you are in economic distress, would that lead you to kill another person? There are many reasons why one feels inclined to murder. It is impossible for any Government to first find the reason why one may be murderous and then solve that individual’s problem to prevent him or her from conducting such a heinous act.
One only has to look at gang violence internationally, social events that have led to murders, wars, and sectarian oppression that results in atrocious human behaviour to recognise that crime and violence are human behavioural patterns not much different from the many painful acts of mankind that seek to inflict pain and suffering. Government’s responsibility is to recognise the possibilities and take the necessary steps to minimise criminal activities and murderous acts.
One ought to recognise that many people who are inclined to be unlawful and murderous are very unlikely to be the caring, law-abiding citizens who contribute to peaceful societies. They are usually heartless, brutal, and, in many cases, beyond repair. They position themselves to be feared, to be unforgiving, and to be the conquerors, not the conquered.
Government’s response to criminals must be forceful, bold, strong, determined, and fair. The Government always has the advantage, it has the legal access to weapons, it makes the laws that govern human activities, and it has the finances to support its endeavours. When murders and criminal activity in any community get out of hand it is a failure of Government to perform one of its most important obligations.
In Trinidad and Tobago, for example, the Government must explain to citizens why they have failed to introduce internationally accepted vehicle identification plates produced by the State to identify vehicles. Many of the murders are committed by people using vehicles to escape. These vehicles are usually outfitted with false number plates as vehicle identification plates are manufactured by anyone with the basic materials to produce one.
Questions can be asked about the slow pace of justice, the reluctance to follow or amend the laws regarding hanging, the chaotic structure of police patrols as well as the use of unmarked vehicles with blue lights and dark tints that are becoming commonplace for criminals and law officers.
There are many areas for immediate attention and Government must take responsibility for the present levels of criminal activity that pervade. It must provide solutions and relief.