One political analyst says none of the political parties can bring the kind of relief from the current crime crisis, which the population needs so desperately.
Dr Winford James made the observation as he commented on recent statements on crime, from the Prime Minister and the National Security Minister.
He notes that while the UNC was in office under the People's Partnership, they were unable to get a handle on crime.
And he points out that the PNM got into power promising to take back the country from the criminals, but have been unable to do so—despite enacting various anti-crime laws, and giving the national security apparatus more resources.
According to Dr James, government’s credibility is at stake at this point in time, because citizens do not believe they can deal with the crime situation.
“If you have people shooting up Port of Spain randomly, then you have to have an immediate measure to counteract what they are doing,” he states, “because that is so dangerous to innocent bystanders and passers-by. That is almost like a Wild West town, where individuals reign supreme in their violence.”
Dr Winford James warns that it may take a long time before relief from crime comes.
He says a national, multi-pronged approach will be necessary to bring it about, because the police alone cannot do the job, especially when it comes to domestic murders. According to the political analyst, a change in mentality is needed.
“How do you fix domestic murders, if people don't have the character not to kill?” he asks. “If people are quite ready to take other people's lives—even in the presence of police efforts and initiatives, and even in the presence of new legislation..."
He adds: “There is something about the mentality of people these days. There is something about the self-restraint of people that does not auger well at all, for a quick solution down the road. Guns can’t fix them,” he observes. “People have to come to an understanding of the sanctity of life, and of the need for seeking other civil solutions to the problems that we face."
The political analyst is encouraging citizens to continue lobbying the Rowley Administration to do something about the rising crime situation.
He says citizens must continue to exercise their rights in this way, demanding more—and better—from Government.
Story by NEWS DESK