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Fight gangs on all fronts

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

The Anti-Gang Act, promoted as critical for bolstering crime-fighting efforts, came into effect on May 28, but it seems as though the body count has been rising much faster since then, with a spate of reprisal killings and gang-related attacks.

More than two weeks later, there are no signs that the police are disrupting gangs and preventing violence. It may be that the anti-gang laws are not enough to stem this rising bloody tide. Perhaps they should be backed by medium and long-term measures, with a special focus on areas where there is serious gang violence.

Still, the police must step up their anti-gang efforts now that they have the necessary legislative backing. In communities across east Port-of-Spain, Morvant/Laventille, central Trinidad and other known hot spots for gang warfare, gang leaders should be actively targeted and kept constantly on the law enforcement radar.

However, intensive anti-gang effort should not be limited to the police. Other agencies should be deployed in an all-out to effort reverse the gang culture with programmes of skills training, remedial education, drug rehabilitation and help in finding work.

This evil must be fought on all fronts.

Waste and inefficiency

A hike in electricity rates is somewhere in T&T’s near future. That has already been signalled by the Regulated Industries Commission (RIC).

Inevitably, there will be a hue and cry when those increases go into force. It won’t matter to the average citizens that this country’s heavily subsidised electricity rates are among the lowest in the region.

In tandem with those increases, there should be a nationwide campaign to crack down on electricity inefficiency and waste. Attitudes and habits need to change.

To make matters worse, T&T is lagging far behind when it comes to energy conservation, as well as in the quest for alternative sources of power. Little attention is being paid to the fact that natural gas, which could easily be sold to bring in much-needed revenue for the country, is instead being used to power the national electricity grid.

Meanwhile, there very few signs of a shift to solar or wind power. There has been plenty talk but that is about all.

Advance in cancer fight

The turning of sod for the start of construction of an $84 million Linear Accelerator (LINAC) Facility at the St James Medical Complex marks an important step forward in the fight against cancer in T&T’s public health system. Hopefully, somewhere on the horizon is that long-promised cancer treatment centre.


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