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T&T losing gun battle

Thursday, July 12, 2018

At the crest of the crime wave that continues to overwhelm this nation are large numbers of armed and dangerous criminals. The ease with which they are able to acquire high-powered weapons to carry out their murderous rampages is strong evidence of ineffective law enforcement—and that is putting it mildly.

The failure of the T&T Police Service (TTPS) to live up to its motto and “protect and serve with pride” was never more starkly highlighted than in events of the past few days where innocent citizens, including children fell victim to armed criminals.

Hardly had the public managed to digest the unpalatable reality of the violent attack on the Chaguaramas Boardwalk where eight-year-old Jakeem Moses was among the injured, when the criminals struck again, this time in Mayaro where Cristiano Cornwall, just 23 months old, was shot. What makes the latter incident particularly disturbing was that the toddler was in the yard of his home, a place where he should be safe.

The TTPS regularly reports on seizure of arms and ammunition but against a backdrop of the hundreds of deadly shootings already recorded this year, those activities hardly make a dent.

A proper health plan

It is often overlooked that those who serve in high public office in this country, including elected officials, have difficult, stressful jobs. However, the illness of Public Administration Minister Marlene McDonald and the slow recovery of her predecessor, La Horquetta/Talparo MP Maxi Cuffie, bring into sharp focus the need for regular medical interventions and support for these officials.

Ms McDonald and Mr Cuffie both fell ill on the job. Thankfully, both are said to be recovering.

However, on Monday there will be by-elections in Belmont East and Barataria to fill local government positions caused by the deaths of two councillors.

It may be time for a health plan which encompasses prevention and maintenance. Given the rigours of the job of public officials, this is an area where more emphasis needs to be placed.

Sound advice

The Children’s Authority is very proactive in carrying out its mandate on behalf of T&T’s most vulnerable citizens. Its public advisory on keeping youngsters safe during the school vacation is timely and useful advice that should be heeded by parents and caregivers.


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