CoP: Violent crime is increasing in T&T at a phenomenal rate

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CoP: Violent crime is increasing in T&T at a phenomenal rate

Violent crime is increasing in T&T at a phenomenal rate.

So says Police Commissioner Erla Harewood-Christopher, as she spoke this morning during the opening of the Regional Crime Symposium at the Hyatt Regency hotel.

According to Harewood-Christopher, the crime epidemic plaguing Trinidad and Tobago stems from youth involvement in guns, gangs and drugs.

The top cop provided data on violent crime saying what is “revealing” is that a high percentage of the victims of violence are persons aged 15 to 29.

She said an analysis of violent crimes in T&T shows that the youth victims in 2013 accounted for 41.6 per cent of all the victims of violence crimes.

This percentage, she said, has varied over the years as she noted in 2022, 33 per cent was recorded.

“The analysis prominently highlights our youth as the victims of crime and I daresay also as the offenders in violent crime.”

She noted this has increased over the years.

She said in 2017 54.5 per cent were youth offenders and in 2022 some 54. 6 per cent were youth offenders.

The Commissioner said the consistent high levels of violence needs a different approach and adopting a public health approach to treating with crime is useful through four steps: Define and monitor the problem; Identify risk factors and protective factor; develop and test prevention strategies and ensure widespread implementation of effective strategies

The Commissioner said the risk factors that lead to crime stems from lack of social control in the homes, school, church and communities.

She said if these intuitions work effectively there will be a reduction in the level of violence.

Other risk factors, she said, include bullying, unemployment, exposure to gang activities, involvement in drugs and access to illegal firearms.