South residents want crime tackled in 2024

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Rory Henry, right, speaks to Newsday reporter Rishard Khan about crime in Trinidad and Tobago at
Vessigny Beach on Monday. – Photo by Lincoln Holder

AS the country closed in 2023 with over 570 murders, residents of south Trinidad hope to see a meaningful attempt to address runaway crime.

Although many people use public holidays as a perfect excuse to spend time at beaches across the country, there were barely two dozen people at Vessigny Beach on Monday.

Beachgoers take a walk along Vessigny Beach on Monday. – Photo by Lincoln Holder

Newsday spoke with a few of them who, without hesitation, said crime needed to be urgently addressed.

Shanti Jagnanan, 31, of Fyzabad came to the beach with her husband and toddler to celebrate the New Year’s holiday as customary.

“(The crime rate) real high. I don’t think they’re doing enough about it. Plenty of people getting killed – a lot of innocent people getting killed.”

She said the rampant crime made her worry about her son’s future, especially when children became victims. Apart from murders, she said domestic violence also needed to be addressed.

Shanti Jagnanan speaks to Newsday at Vessigny Beach on Monday. – Photo by Lincoln Holder.

Rory Henry, 56, of Sobo, La Brea believes providing employment opportunities for the youth will help reduce the incidence of crime.

“If it have work, it wouldn’t have the amount of crime that it have,” he said.

“People desperate. It hardly have work. That creating the crime, creating criminals, creating problems for the country. People wouldn’t want to come to Trinidad.”

Born in 1967, he believed higher employment opportunities were what made the country safer then.

“You could have gone down Point (Fortin) and leave your house open. You can’t do that now. You could have left La Brea and go anywhere, you cannot do that now.”

Similarly, Desi Thomas, 43, of Gasparillo, also wanted to see more employment opportunities to help address crime. Additionally, he wanted to see the TT Regiment used more actively to combat the scourge.

“The country in a mess right now with crime,” he said.

Unlike years gone by, he said it was impossible for citizens to feel safe around each other.

“It not like long time (when) you could’ve trust people being genuine and being honest. Now you have to be sceptical of everything because crime just totally out of hand in this country.”

While these beachgoers, like many others, are hoping for a safer 2024, the country recorded its two murders on New Year’s Day. Two men were gunned down on Monday, one in Belmont and the other in Tobago.

Desi Thomas gives his thoughts about crime at Vessigny Beach on Monday. – Photo by Lincoln Holder