As I read our dailies, what is catching my attention is the amount of crime being reported all over Trinidad and Tobago. Our news is packed with people who have been caught indulging themselves in criminal activities.

How can anyone who truly cares about our twin island just turn a blind eye to what is taking place?

We are still reading about women under attack, robberies, attempted kidnappings, murders, guns on our streets, and the list goes on. This is real, and pretending it does not exist will not make it go away.

While citizens must take extra precautions due to the escalating crime in the country, much more needs to be done for the safety of the population at large.

Let us not forget there are thousands of our citizens—mothers, young women/men and children—who do not have their own personal transport. Do the math: how are they getting home (safely)?

The following are a few suggestions: the implementation of joint patrols by the Police Service and the Defence Force.

We are not engaged in any war at this time, so our soldiers can be out there both day and night, protecting the citizens.

We also need to have communities and hotspots patrolled at night. Let those police lights be seen flashing throughout our communities.

Night-time roadblocks should be consistent. Choosing areas at random, the presence of police and soldiers regularly all around can be a deterring factor.

Now I am well aware some may not agree with this—but with the growing crime situation right now in T&T, it’s time for a temporary “curfew” in certain areas to get the streets cleared at a certain hour. This will limit the criminal elements in their hours of operation.

Finally, our lawmakers, the judiciary, and all those who are responsible in these offices need to get their act together and put things in place now to keep those guilty of committing a crime where they belong.

We are losing too many innocent lives. That needs to change and we are responsible for making this happen. All hands on deck.

What next? Things have been put in place to bring pepper spray into the public space, with a view to giving our women a fighting chance. I wait to see this being implemented.

We are all aware this is a very small drop in the bucket to deal with the criminal activity we are seeing.

It is important that those who are responsible for passing bills and legislations do their part and do it swiftly.

Also, the legal system must be dealt with. It is poor, with a lot to be desired. Many are out on bail with a book of charges to their name and walking the streets, committing crime as usual.

Then we come to the sentencing of people brought to justice and found guilty of the crime for which they were charged.

If someone can brutality rape, beat and murder someone, spend years before being convicted and the maximum sentence is imprisonment, how deterring is that to the offender? Does the penalty equal the crime? Is that true justice?

In my personal opinion, it seems as if the criminals have more rights than the victims.

What is really humorous to me is when you hear about “human rights”, it is not when someone has had their life snatched away at the hands of a murderer. Only mention the death penalty, which is there in black and white, all of a sudden you are getting all types of suggestions and comments from all quarters—for example, it is inhumane.

The victims seem not to have any “human rights”, only sympathy and how sorry we are.

That is justice for you in T&T. No wonder crime continues along its merry way.

So I look forward for more than pepper spray in dealing with those who are taking pleasure in destroying our twin islands. Let’s do it together, people.

Arnold Gopeesingh

San Juan

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Due to a glitch, the wrong Raffique Shah column appeared in yesterday’s Sunday Express. The correct column appears below.

The error is regretted.

IF a brush with death is said to prompt man to reflect more deeply on life, then the Covid-19 pandemic that swooped down on mankind last year, cutting a path of death and destruction such as we had never seen in our lifetime, has also triggered deep thinking on the social contracts that exist among governments and the governed, on how societies are structured to sustain inequality, and on altering such arrangements, replacing them with more equitable alternatives.

EVEN as Trinidad and Tobago joins the world in observing International Women’s Day today it is evident that many women are too busy trying to survive and to stay alive to see the relevance of this day to their lives.

Women’s non-governmental organisations (NGOs) raised the consciousness of women to challenge prevailing myths that spousal abuse, rape and sexual abuse were the fault of women. Feminist NGOs forced public political discourses and attitudinal changes in society’s views on domestic violence and violence against women.

For International Women’s Day, ECLAC (Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean) Caribbean calls on individuals to #choosetochallenge gender inequality and gender-based violence

ECLAC Caribbean is championing the call to elevate the voices who #choosetochallenge gender-based violence (GBV) and gender inequality, as well as limiting beliefs and attitudes about women’s roles in the home, workplace, and society.

Nearly a year ago, on March 12, 2020, Trinidad and Tobago recorded its first Covid-19 case, marking the arrival of the pandemic to the sister-island nation. The ensuing lockdown and other restrictions protected the lives of the nation. However, while these measures safeguarded the people from the virus, it also took, and indeed, is still taking a heavy toll on the livelihoods of the people who have had to adjust to the new realities.

All over the world, women lead. They lead peace processes, run businesses, establish hospitals and schools. They are presidents of countries and corporate boards. They head international and grassroots organisations, faith-based groups and sports teams, labour and environmental movements, often while caring for their families and communities.