Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 28th 2014 Contents A26
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Friday, November 28, 2014
The public is hereby noti-
fied that Name of
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Proposes to apply to the
(EMA) for a variation in
accordance with the Noise
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2001 for the Event/Activity
Date of Event/Activity:
Friday 23rd January 2015
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The Public is invited to sub-
mit comments within 5 work-
ing days of the publication of
this Notice to the EMA.
Are there relationships between one s
body and crime?
Did you know that the size and shape
of one s breasts, jawbone, ears, nose,
eyes and forehead were some of the fac-
tors that early biological criminologists
identified as characteristics of a crimi-
nal? There was even an early concept of
a "born criminal" or atavist.
Well, these theories emphasising such
physical characteristics have been reject-
ed for several reasons, including how the
research was conducted.
Biological criminological explanations
continued. They ventured into assessing
the relationship between the muscularity
of a person and crime. They looked at
the body type of a person (called soma-
totype) and criminality. For example,
they found that more muscular and ath-
letic people (called mesomorphs) were
usually more aggressive and prone to
aggressive acts than overweight people
(endomorphs) and ectomorphs (who
were fragile and thin).
There were, of course, several opposi-
tions to this theory. If this proposition
were applied today, how many of us
would be classified as criminals or
However, this concept evolved, and
today, it leads, for example, to the
incorporation of the Body Mass Index
(BMI) concept into such predictions,
with some limited success when prison-
ers were examined in the USA.
Another way in which the human
body has been linked to crime is in the
"supermale" phenomenon. Scientists
reported that there are some males who
have an extra "Y" in their chromosome
construction, enabling them to have a
"XYY" chromosome make-up, or, being
a "supermale." They reported that males
with this genetic makeup are more
inclined to engage in crime.
How many of us have this extra "y"
and how do we relate to crime? A num-
ber of studies were done on prison pop-
I wonder what the results would be
for our own prison population and that
of other Caribbean jurisdictions.
There has also been consideration and
acceptance in some jurisdictions of pre-
menstrual syndrome (PMS) experienced
by some women as a defence for
engagement in some crimes. Another
hormonal consideration that may be
accepted as a defence for criminal
behaviour is post-partum depression.
This is where the courts may accept
that people who suffer from these hor-
monal imbalances may commit a related
crime. They may receive reduced sen-
tences, for example.
Another massive area of research is in
the field of genetics and crime. Studies
in some Scandinavian countries as well
as North America have revealed that
genetic factors may contribute to some-
one engaging in crime. For example,
studies were done in which the children
of people (father and/or mother) who
were imprisoned (criminals) and were
placed with adopted parents who had
no criminal records, showed that a
notable percentage of those children (not
all) did engage in crime later on in life.
Another set of studies to show the
relationship between genetics and crime
deal with twins and crime. Among
many of their modest findings were that
twins who lived with their biological
parents who were criminals did them-
selves engage in crime later on. Some
other results were that twins who had
biological parents who had a criminal
past and were then separated from their
biological parents and had adoptive par-
ents did engage in crime, even though
the adoptive parents had no criminal
Many of the more contemporary bio-
logical theories of crime deal with levels
of testosterone, serotonin, heart rate,
skin conductance levels, sugar intake,
etc. Also, brain-imaging techniques are
utilised in this area of study. These new
findings suggest linkages between levels
of each of the above and involvement in
While in the past biological theories of
crime were heavily criticised for their
weak methodology, with the advent of
more advanced and accurate scientific
methods, more reliable findings are
forthcoming. This is not to say that bio-
logical factors solely contribute to a per-
son s criminal behaviour. There are other
factors that probably contribute simulta-
neously. These include environmental
factors, socio-economic background,
opportunity, as well as a range of psy-
chological factors that can be discussed
in another article.
What does all of this mean to readers?
There is always the question: What
causes crime? Well, there is a wide
range of explanations of crime, that is,
there is no one reason. This article
focuses on one category of explana-
If a person is predisposed to engage in
crime owing to his/her biological make-
up, what type(s) of punishment should
be meted out to him/her? Should such a
person be imprisoned? Should there be
This touches on the whole issue of
punishment and sentencing. Would you
say that such a person has "free will"
and choice to commit crime?
These are some of the issues that pol-
icymakers, criminologists, and indeed,
the wider public need to tackle urgently
to develop and implement effective
solutions to many of the crime problems
confronting us in the Caribbean.
THE HUMAN BODY AND CRIME
Let's never get
like Ferguson, Missouri
The riots in Ferguson, Missouri have really
scared me. The residents continue to express
their outrage over the killing of Michael Brown.
And it's not just because he was an unarmed
teen, it was because he was a black teen who was
shot by a white officer. The black community is
enraged over the jury's decision to not indict the
police officer Darren Wilson. No one can downplay
the seriousness of this very sad case and it really
does make you wonder what really happened.
But what bothers me is the manner in which
the residents of Ferguson are protesting. Why de-
stroy businesses and the community you have
shared peacefully with others for so long?
I know they are hurting, but they have to find
less destructive ways to show their pain.
I feel truly blessed to be a mixed individual who
lives in an island republic that celebrates diversity.
We have to stop complaining about the small
stuff and enjoy the many blessings we have. We
have a functioning democracy, a stable economy
and a government that actually cares about us.
I really hope we never allow race to push us to
destroying this beautiful land of ours. Let's never
get like Ferguson.
display of maturity
I would like to commend MP Stacy Roopnarine
for her portrayal of integrity and commitment to
good governance. It is quite refreshing to see a
young woman take such a bold stance to ensure
Some would say she put her foot in her mouth
when she discovered that no corruption took
place and apologised to the Minister of Works
and Infrastructure but I disagree.
She had a concern, she raised it with the Prime
Minister and when clarification was provided she
apologised to the offended party. I must say, a
great display of maturity by the junior minister!
Alvin K Daniel
The Caribbean Institute for Security and Public Safety offers training in a range of short professional
development programmes to law enforcement personnel, security professionals, prison officers, public
safety officers and all interested members of the public. Contact us at: 223-6999,
email@example.com and www.caribbeansecurityinstitute.com
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