Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 27th 2016 Contents A22
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Over the last ten years I have been writ-
ing about suggestions to reduce crime in
T&T. The simple suggestions made were
communicated to the relevant government
officials. To date our nation continues to
grapple with ever-increasing violent crime
with little success while the basic tried and
proven solutions remain as suggestions and
In every society where crime is low there
are commonalities. These include employ-
ment and sporting activities to engage the
youths, structured regular police patrols,
quick uncompromising justice and a healthy
private sector business environment.
In T&T, policing is generally reactive
where officers at the stations react to re-
ports of crime. That needs to change to
proactive structures through scheduled de-
fined patrols in every community.
The judicial system must offload most of
the present cases that have been burdening
the system for years. As such, cases over 10
years should be dismissed or subject to im-
Plea bargaining ought to be standardised
and included in our laws. Our prisons need
to be reformed physically and systems up-
dated to be centres of rehabilitation.
Our communities should be structured
through comprehensive local government
reform. Activity centres for sports, steel pan,
music, dancing and drama should be con-
structed in every community.
Businesses should be encouraged to em-
ploy and train youths and given tax credits
for such endeavours. Communities should
construct and offer at subsidised prices of-
fice space, manufacturing space and food
courts to encourage trade and investment in
The police service should be given the op-
tion of either restructuring the entire service
to be modern and efficient or face being
closed down and replaced with a smaller
well-trained unit made up of national police
and local community police employed and
based in the communities.
These measures, together with upgrad-
ing the current motor vehicle registration
system to modern plates and a tracing sys-
tem as well as a reliable network of cameras
and overhead surveillance, will have the de-
sired effect or reducing crime.
This is how the world works and there is
no need to reinvent systems when all that is
needed is tweaking successful systems and
making them relevant to the needs of T&T.
God bless our nation.
"A people uninterested in its
art...its artist and its history are
a people not worthy of an
independent state....and we in
Trinidad and Tobago are wor-
thy." These platitudes were
quoted by Dr Rowley at the
recent opening of the Cazabon
Legacy exhibition currently tak-
ing place at the Diplomatic
Centre. As we draw near to our
54th Independence anniversary,
where are we as a people
regarding the arts, culture, her-
itage and legacy.
History has shown that Trinis
don t really care about their
history. Who is to blame? This
is the result of ad hoc decisions
made by successive govern-
ments with the most damaging
being the decision by many
schools to stop teaching history.
We sang Nation Dawning in
schools and God Bless our
Nation. Children today are clue-
less to the songs.
Remember the debacle that
was Greyfriars and look at the
Magnificent Seven and other
derelict buildings around the
country. Where is the history in
schools? How can we as a peo-
ple appreciate history when said
politicians removed it from
schools and TTUTA, NPTA
teachers and principals sat idly
by and said and did nothing?
The education minister
lamented recently about our
lack of nationalism and patriot-
ism. There is disrespect for the
national anthem and national
flag. If these things are not
inculcated in children how can
they appreciate it?
So while I admire your ges-
ture, goodly PM, tell me what
has the Minster of Community
Development Arts and Culture
done for the last year? Except
continuing what her predeces-
sors started, that is, treat Car-
nival alone as culture in a
The National Museum, the
National Trust and National
Archives fell under the umbrella
of the former Ministry of
National Diversity and Social
Integration (MNDSI). Dr Rowley,
one of the concerns/fears at
MNDSI when you announced
you would disband the Ministry,
was what would become of the
work which was started? Would
it be set aside?
Your government did not dis-
appoint. True to form as the
three bodies have been separat-
ed and now fall under different
ministries where there is
silence. The government has
declared it cares about art and
artists. Really!? You threw out
the baby with the bath water.
We keep doing the same non-
sense repeatedly and expect dif-
What improvements have
been made to the National
Museum? Consultations were
held across the country and the
number of museums in the
country both privately owned
(family, groups) and government
and government assisted muse-
ums compiled information.
Where is this information
today? Gathering dust in boxes.
Why has the Museum Board
not been renewed since Novem-
ber 2015? How is money being
disbursed, since the Act of
2000 clearly stipulates that a
Statutory Board is responsible
for disbursing funds and is
answerable to the minister not
to permanent secretaries, which
has been the illegal practice for
years in T&T.
The Draft Policy on the
National Museum and National
Heritage Policy is at a standstill.
Consultations were held across
the country for a Civil Society
Board, elections held and the
permanent secretary at the time
refused to install the Board even
though thousands of dollars
were spent on this exercise.
A Cabinet-appointed First
Peoples Committee representing
the indigenous groups in T&T
(and met monthly at the min-
istry) has been disbanded under
this government. The Policy and
Strategy Unit has been disband-
ed. So what is guiding the
goodly minister? Is she groping
in the dark and running the
ministry day by day?
Let s get real here. Art, histo-
ry and legacy have never been
given importance in T&T, just
simply politicking and the cha-
rade continues unabated.
Mind you the Government
alone is not at fault here since
they get assistance from little
pockets of "cultural lovers" who
are hired and are so busy "eat-
ing ah food" that inaction by
successive administrations is
treated with silence. Fear of
speaking up regarding the gov-
ernment s inactivity means
ostracism or no funding, so
they remain silent.
What does being a Trini
means to you? If we don t
know our past, we won t know
where we going.
Members of the T&T Regiment install buntings on their headquarters along
Abercromby Street, Port-of-Spain in preparation for the celebration of the
54th anniversary of T&T's Independence which will be commemorated next
Wednesday. PHOTO: NICOLE DRAYTON
No need to reinvent crime-fighting systems
WHERE ARE WE REGARDING
THE ARTS, CULTURE, HERITAGE?
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