Minister of National Security Fitzgerald Hinds. Photo by Jeff Mayers
National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds has described a report which rated TT as having the sixth highest crime rate in the world as unfortunate, but maintains that all resources and efforts are being directed to address violence.
Earlier this week the World Population Review website published figures per 100,000 people, with Trinidad and Tobago ranking number six, above Jamaica, Brazil and El Salvador.
Asked to comment on the statistics after a ceremony at the House of Angostura, Laventille, on Friday, Hinds admitted that TT’s crime levels were “inordinately” high, but stressed that various policies and strategies aimed at reducing crime were under way.
Hinds also stressed that the fight against crime was an ongoing one.
“It is a reflection of the level of violence that exists in the world and exists in our society and many other societies of the world. It is a reflection of human behaviour.
“The government on your behalf is directing tremendous resources towards these initiatives.
“The battle continues. It’s a moving target, it’s not an end state that you can easily grasp. No one can deal with this situation overnight, because it didn’t happen overnight.
“It has a lot to do with the culture of the society, the way we bring up our children, what we do and what we don’t do.”
Acting Police Commissioner McDonald Jacob, who also attended the ceremony, said he would have to read the report to understand the analysis, but admitted the figures were not surprising.
“I think it’s for the first quarter, and we will admit that in the first four months of this year we have had high incidence of crime, and I am not a bit surprised, because last year we ended up in ninth place when they did the analysis. But I will have to see who did it, how it was done. But it is in fact a good guide for us.”
Jacob added that he hoped that TT’s ranking would be lowered by the end of the year.
“If it changes or whether it changes at the end of the six months or at the end of the year we will be looking forward to answer similar questions on why we have now moved from sixth place to 15th place or 20th place.”
Jacob said several strategies were being introduced to reduce long-term crime through various community outreach programmes to assist in anger management, conflict resolution and life skills.
He stressed that the police would “continue pushing,” and said the participation of the youths and communities were critical factors in any anti-crime initiative.