Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 22nd 2017 Contents tobagotoday.co.tt June 21 - 2017
Tobago can stem Gang-related Violence: Criminologist
As the image of the bullet-riddled shoe-
less bodies of the three Laventille men con-
tinues to terrorise citizens, questions are
being asked about whether similar gang-re-
lated activity can happen in Tobago.
Noted Tobago criminologist and UWI lec-
turer Dr Wendell Wallace said it can if steps
are not taken to prevent it. "We need to take
responsibility as a community and self --
police," he said.
Lamenting the current state of commu-
nity spirit where "nobody sees and nobody
hears anything that is happening in the com-
munity," he said for crime to reduce people
must look out for each other.
Asked about the root cause of gang-re-
lated violence Wallace said it is mainly
based on financial needs."Wherever you
have drugs you have gangs and it's basical-
ly a fight for control of territory which equals
the amount of money the gang controls."
He said the drug trade is a major facil-
itator of gang activity. " Drugs are not the
only facilitator but it is an important facil-
itator of that kind of activity."
Noting that based on the definition of a
gang, "There are some gangs that are not
involved in drugs," he cited this country's
Anti- Gang Act. "According to the Act a
gang is a combination of two or more per-
sons acting together for the primary purpose
of illegal activity." Wallace said making the
distinction between different types of gangs
is important if gang activity is to addressed.
Asked if the increase in crime in Tobago
is related to gangs and the drug trade he
noted that "Anecdotal not empirical evidence
seems to suggest a variety of reasons for the
increase in crime on the island."
He also pointed to the need for a differ-
ent type of policing. "The current type of
policing is not enough to prevent crime what
we need is a level of community policing
which will look at the root causes of crime."
The criminologist said community polic-
ing must have an element of education as
potential criminals should understand the
implications of their actions "not just on a
personal level but its overall impact on Toba-
go as a tourist destination."
Wallace also pointed out that "in Tobago's
case the reason for gang-related activity it
can be as simple as the island's geographical
He said wherever there is economic devel-
opment "crime will tend to increase as per-
sons immigrate to other areas," and added,
"People talk about the geographic movement
of crime as people move from other islands
or countries to find jobs in new locations."
"The whole transnational drug trade is
also responsible for the crime increase also,"
the criminologist added. He noted that those
kinds of criminal activity involve more than
one country and also involve crimes like the
drug trade and human trafficking.
Addressing other areas of crime prevention
Wallace said crime detection has to be
addressed: "There is also a need to improve
the drug detection capacity at the ports and
things like scanners must be implemented
as soon as possible."
Former TRHA Board Member Snubbed
Gerry MacFarlane, a former member of
the Tobago Regional Health Authority
(TRHA) board, told the Minister of Health-
Terrence Deyalsingh, members of the Welch
Report and officials from the Ministry of
Health they are "disrespectful to Tobago-
MacFarlane made this statement after he
was not given the opportunity to air his
views, at the public health consultation,
which was held to discuss the findings and
recommendations of the Welch report, on
June 6th, at the Victor E Bruce Financial
The Welch Report is a compilation of the
review of the operations of the Regional
Health Authority (RHA) by a seven -mem-
ber Cabinet- approved committee led by Dr
Winston Welch. It established in November
After the findings and recommendations
from the Welch report were read, MacFarlane,
who was appointed as a TRHA board mem-
ber by then Chief Secretary Orville London
in March 2014, joined a line with other
members of the public to ask questions or
make suggestions on the way forward for
However, when he approached the micro-
phone an announcement was made that the
forum had come to an end.
It was then MacFarlane began to say,
among other things, that to end the forum
at that point was "disrespectful to Tobago-
. However, his microphone was muted.
Commenting on the issue days later, Mac-
Farlane told Tobago Today he could not
understand why he was treated that way.
"I was in shock that they could do that
to a fellow Tobagonian and especially one
who had the experience of seeing how the
TRHA was run." "Imagine it happened as
soon as I approached the microphone and
that is just disrespectful."
Asked what he intended to contribute to
the discussion he said, "All I wanted to say
is that the TRHA should be totally scrapped
Facilities Review Committees and Research
Ethics Committee Officially Appointed
Faclilities Review Committee (Homes for Children) From
left: Mr. Ricardo Bobb, Dr. Maria Dillon-Remy, Dr. Derick
Forrester, Mrs. Maria Rosalina Harte, Mrs. Michelle
Edwards Benjamin, Councillor Dr. Agatha Carrington,
Mr. Garth Jacob, Mrs. Suzette Woods-James, Mr. Nigel
Wallcott, Mrs. Natalie Cummings Moses.
Links Archive June 21st 2017 June 23rd 2017 Navigation Previous Page Next Page