Bajan Editorial warns not to let T&T’s Crime Spread to their Borders



On 2 March 2016, Barbados’ Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite suggested that Barbadians can take comfort in the fact that the island’s crime situation was no where near as bad as that of neighbouring Trinidad and Tobago, which had recorded over 80 murders in just two months. He boasted that last year, a total of 30 murders were reported on the island. On 30 March 2016, the Barbados Nation featured the following Editorial: Keep eye on happenings in Trinidad.


This editorial noted that the first quarter of 2016 has not been finished and the number of murders recorded in T&T has exceeded 112. Barbadians are now getting extremely concerned because of the deep economic and cultural links between these two CARICOM members. It was indicated that the “spiralling criminality plaguing the twin-island nation” must be brought under control. The Keith Rowley-led administration must take responsibility and bring the situation under control.

Apart from just the volume of murders being noted, the vicious and brutal nature of the crimes were also highlighted, special mention was made of the beheadings. Readers of this Editorial were warned that nationals as well as visitors were victims, and that residents of T&T were “frightened and uneasy”. Historical information and a projection was also provided: “In the last decade murder rates in Trinidad and Tobago have not fallen below 368 in any given year and there is little likelihood of a decline this year.”


The Editorial gave this warning: “ In Barbados we need to pay special attention to this situation and ensure it does not spread across borders and undermine our stability.


The following obvious Hotspots in and around the capital, Port of Spain, which are considered to be quite dangerous were listed as follows:


  • – Laventille
  • – Morvant
  • – Sea Lots
  • – South Belmont
  • – and inside of the Queen’s Park Savannah


The last one obviously letting us know of the far reaching implications of the murder of the Japanese national over the carnival weekend.


Bajans travelling to T&T were warned to avoid these locations. Additionally it was advised that precaution must also be extended to the Piarco International Airport where for the unsuspecting visitor criminals are always lurking to exploit any weakness.


At the same time, the Editorial also noted that there is high criminal gang activity, coupled with the movement of illegal narcotics and firearms. To compound matters, it divulged that a number of Trinidadians are known to be going off to join and fight for extremist terror groups particularly in the Middle East and North Africa. The bajan security services were admonished that they must be fully attuned to these developments.


This editorial ended on a very somber note, and that T&T nationals may now want to buy property on their island:


“The drop in world oil prices has severely impacted Trinidad, CARICOM’s leading crude producer, leaving it reeling and facing new uncertainties. There has been a sharp rise in unemployment, growing disenchantment among the youth and a national budget under strain. This may have one net result. Trinidad businesses may want to extend their already big economic footprint in Barbados while at the individual level some of our neighbours to the south may want to buy property in a still relatively peaceful, safe and economically sound jurisdiction. In an era of free movement of people, capital, goods and services, it is all about exploiting the available opportunities. It would also be nothing more than a vote of confidence in Barbados. Trinidad also remains an important source market from where we attract regional visitors. There is a high level of trade in goods and services even if in Trinidad’s favour, and many Barbadians go there to study, work, take part in cultural activities or exploit business opportunities. We remain optimistic that these exchanges will continue despite the violence, corruption and pessimism in the twin-island nation.

It is truly a sad day, when our Caricom neighbours have to tell us to manage our affairs and to put our house in order. For a tiny nation, we have let too much slip for too long and now we are starting to slide. I wonder when the administration will get a handle on this spiralling crime situation? How many more school boys need to be killed? How many more women have to lose their heads or have their bodies dismembered? When will persons stop escaping from St. Ann’s or the Prisons? When will the justice system get rid of the backlog? If you can’t handle the job, do the honourable thing and resign.


Source: Barbados Nation

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