Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 25th 2015 Contents In this Tuesday picture, a Senegalese man named Ngame, who told reporters
that he was rescued by Spain's coast guard travelling from Africa's western
coast toward Spain's Canary Islands, speaks after discovering he won
$438,000 in Roquetas de Mar, in Almeria province, Spain. About 35 African
migrants, including at least one rescued at sea from an overcrowded wooden
boat, are among the top prize winners of Spain's Christmas lottery, according
to the owner of the lottery agency that sold more than 1,000 tickets worth
$438,000 each. AP PHOTO
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Friday, December 25, 2015
Christ came for benefit of all mankind
When the Christ, manifested as a physical being, came on Earth it was for the ben-
efit of all men that we would realise we are cut from the same cloth regardless of
race, religious belief, culture and nation and that all of us have a chance to achieve sal-
vation if we allow the Christ consciousness to merge with our own diminutive one.
This message should never be lost, undermined or underestimated. Christmas may
just be a holiday for many but it is a time to reflect on why we were created and what
must be done to be saved.
Paramahansa Yogananda said, "Environment is stronger than will power." We must
keep this in mind when we celebrate Christmas only for a short period while remain-
ing in an environment of crime, grief and political corruption.
We must remember that there is more to life than just what we see, hear or read
about. Use this Christmas to meditate, pray and fast so that in 2016 we can all con-
tribute in our little ways to making T&T a paradise we know it is capable of becoming.
Merry and holy Christmas to you all.
The year 2015 is nearly at an
end. Soberly, we ask: How did we
perform on matters of crime, secu-
rity and public safety and what
were some of the major issues?
Unforgettable was when key road
arteries in T&T were blocked by
the "total policing" efforts on
March 21 by some members of the
police service. There was much
public outrage. New procedures
for roadblocks were quickly
announced and an official inves-
tigation was conducted.
Reported serious crime rates are
decreasing when compared to
2014---though still unacceptably
high. However, for the serious
crime of murder, the final 2015
figure may tip last year s 409. We
definitely need a firmer grip here.
The array of strategies imple-
mented to reduce other crimes
should be modified as the patterns
shall change. Strategies should
always be ahead of criminals. And,
such strategy-formulation should
involve all stakeholders as the
police cannot carry this burden
alone. Meaningful avenues must
be created to facilitate this.
We also have to be wary about
of the "dark figure of crime" or
unreported crimes. When added
to reported crimes, the "real" crime
situation is worsened. Measures
to capture unreported crimes
should be initiated to bring all
criminals to book.
This year saw brazened attacks
on members of the protective serv-
ices several of whom lost their
lives. Issues of officers possessing
and wearing proper protection,
adequate training for officers when
responding to dangerous situations
and heated discussions on whether
to allow officers to take home guns
were prominent. Compensation to
families of killed officers was pro-
posed---a step in the right direction.
When the final figures are tallied,
retrievals of arms and ammunitions
as well as drug seizures for 2015
may be higher than 2014. Not only
should these efforts be significantly
boasted, but the public deservedly
wants more arrests, prosecution
and conviction of perpetrators on
Drugs and guns courts were pro-
posed for years. 2015 did not see
any materialisation. They can cer-
tainly ease up the overburdened
judicial system where it takes sev-
eral years for matters to be com-
pleted. Several recommendations
like new court rules, expansion of
the family court system,
were implemented thus far but
we may need much more as the
Chief Justice outlined, for example,
review of the death penalty,
decriminalisation of marijuana,
independent funding for judiciary,
review of need for jury trials, etc.
One thing many members of
the public are happy about is the
work of the Professional Standards
Bureau of the police service.
They have made a number of
arrests re police misconduct. This
unit should be beefed-up with the
Still troublesome in 2015 was
the continued acting appointment
of the commissioner of police for
over two years. Plans to reform the
process were announced but we
await urgent action.
Highly visible were school vio-
lence and bullying inside schools
and in surrounding areas. The use
of camera phones and social media
were noticeable in bringing these
incidents to the public s fore. A
new discussion on the use of cam-
eras in schools as it is currently a
"banned" item should be held.
The findings of forensic pathol-
ogists came up for much public
scrutiny for some high public-
interest matters. The Forensic Sci-
ence Centre needs to review its
internal policies and practices that
shall also strengthen our confi-
dence on this critical aspect of our
criminal justice system.
For years, we have been hearing
about legislation to regularise the
private security industry. In 2015,
this was not attended to again.
There are many institutions and
people functioning in this massive
industry without appropriate train-
ing and certification.
Road deaths for 2015 so far are
similar to 2014 though still too
Current patrols, media messages
and the number of breathalyser
tests do not seem to reduce the
numbers fast enough. Other strate-
gies needed include speed guns,
increased fines, use of cctv system,
seizing licences of repeat offenders,
teaching proper road traffic prac-
tices in schools, increased breathal-
yser testing by larger pool of peo-
The public has not seen in any
notable way people and organisa-
tions being held for white-collar
crimes and corruption. With finan-
cial troubles ahead in 2016, the
safety and security of our people
should remain a high priority. This
includes training and retooling per-
sonnel to be on top of their game.
Some criminologists argue that
crimes increase in economic
downturns when some people
choose to adapt in illegal ways. Let
us stop them!
The Miami Dade College School of
Justice and the CISPS are hosting
an international practical training on
"Surveillance and Counter-Surveil-
lance" from January 13-15, 2016. For
further information on this and
other courses: 223-6999, 223-6968.
CRIME, SECURITY AND PUBLIC SAFETY LUCKY MIGRANTS
2015 in Review
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