Hinds urges media: Sensitise the public to dangers of guns, drugs

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

‘HELP WE NAH’: National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds speaks to reporters on Monday at the 37th AGM of the Assn of C’bean Commissioner of Police at the Hyatt Regency, Port of Spain. PHOTO BY AYANNA KINSALE –

AS PART of Government’s whole of society approach to tackling crime and violence, National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds is urging the media to make a greater effort in sensitising the public to the dangers of guns and drugs.

He made the call while speaking with reporters after the opening session on Monday of the 37th annual general meeting of the Association of Caribbean Commissioners of Police (ACCP) at the Hyatt Regency, Port of Spain.

He said while media have consistently reported on violent crime and its effects, he would like to see a concerted media effort to not only highlight the risks of crime but also what can be done by citizens to safeguard their communities.

Hinds said the media’s role is crucial and therefore should be included in any “whole of society” approach to crime fighting.

“I would like to see the media join with police in sensitising the public not just to the gore and bloodshed on a daily basis, as we have traditionally done, but to change course a bit.

“To run major campaigns as a media institution sensitising the people to the danger of drugs in their presence or guns in their presence and what they can do to assist police in getting these dangerous items out of those communities,” Hinds said.

Referring to a recent incident where a man was stabbed to death in a St James casino over an argument, Hinds said a difference in approach to crime-fighting could have prevented that situation from escalating.

“I only imagine and I’m sure they might have been drinking, they might have been drunk, they might have been known to other patrons, they may have had quarrels before.

During his feature address, Hinds reported that up to 14 lives were lost per day to crime and violence across the Caribbean. He noted that such a widespread problem demands a collective response and was pleased that law enforcement experts from various backgrounds could gather to share their experiences.

He said such a collaborative approach would only improve the understanding of the different attendees while providing a useful forum for networking.

When asked questions on the “abduction” of firearms dealer Brent Thomas, Hinds did not respond saying he had to leave.