|National Security Minister Edmund Dillon|
What exactly are those policies?
Nobody is sure - especially the government - but let's be brutally frank about this. With 180 murders so far (a record for Trinidad and Tobago) and 15 in one week it's difficult to understand what policy is working. Crime is certainly not "abating" as claimed by the minister.
|Murder victims. Latest stats http://www.ttcrime.com/stats.php|
While the government might argue that murders alone do not count as crime they are certainly the barometer for making an assessment. It has always been so and it makes sense to use that as a standard.
So when the minister tells us the policies are working and we see the evidence points to an alarming number of homicides, the likes of what we have never seen in Trinidad and Tobago, the conclusion to be drawn is that whatever policies are in place are all wrong.
Instructing to the law enforcement agencies to do a better job than they are now doing and dropping in on police divisions to see what officers are doing do not amount to a crime fighting plan. (Neither does pointing speed guns at motorists).
Dillon's boss, Prime Minister Keith Rowley, was always on the attack blaming the previous government for its handling of the crime problem. While in opposition he went as far as stating "...if the government can't deal with it (crime) then the government itself is part of the problem." He was right.
But as prime minister his tune changed and his reaction to questions about the rising rate of crime was that you can't "flick a switch and and turn it off".
It's a point that the trinidad Express noted in an editorial on May 16:
"Then opposition leader Rowley had been unsparing in his criticism of anti-crime approaches taken by the Partnership administration. As Prime Minister, however, he appears in no rush to grasp the nettle in combating crime, even as he sees it at a level “just too high and unacceptable”. Indeed, his responses in part reflect a curious dance of disavowal. “The Government’s role, in many instances,” he said, “doesn’t begin until after the crime has been committed.”
Rowley keeps avoiding the fact that he has so far failed to face the number one issue that he promised to confront and instead he continues to play down his administration’s responsibility for fixing the crime problem.
Dillon's statement further points to the fact that the administration has no clue about how to confront and deal with the problem. "You can’t pin crime to a timeline because you never can tell what can happen in any one day," he told the Trinidad Guardian.
A child in primary school can tell you that. What we want to hear from Dillon and Rowley is what exactly what they plan to do to address this national issue that grows worse every day.
They seem content to keep burying their heads in the sand and pretending it's not their problem.
Apart of introducing joint police/soldier patrols in Laventille - the same plan it opposed while in opposition - there has been no strategy.
And if there has been a reduction in criminal activity in Laventille then based on statistics it would appear that the theatre has shifted from there to other locations, like Couva for example, where we have seen a 200 per cent rise in murders since the present government took office.
The government has now abdicated its responsibility to citizens to fight crime and it seems that the only solution they have is to somehow wait and hope that there is really a switch to flick and it would go away.
Having regard to this government's record over the past eight months it is a given that if the switch exists they won't know where to find it and how to flick it off.