Lara expresses heartbreak over crime situation

Home*Cover Story*News

Lara expresses heartbreak over crime situation

With crime seemingly like a runaway horse that cannot be restrained, cricket legend Brian Lara has now voiced his concerns.

In a statement he said: Today I am laying in my room in Jaipur, India and yes searching for answers and solutions for my team Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL but deep down I am hurting as I see my country slowly turning into a place that’s unsafe for all Trinbagonians. Trinidad , like many other countries, faces challenges with youth involvement in crime.”

He said the issue of youth crime in Trinidad and Tobago has been a concern for many years and is driven by a range of complex social, economic, and cultural factors.

“One contributing factor is financial worries which affect many young people in Trinidad and Tobago. Young people from low-income families may feel pressure to engage in criminal activities to earn money or support their families. This invariably leads to involvement in drug trafficking, gang activity, and other criminal behaviours.

“Yes, I understand but still, I look back with a vivid memory of my first indulgence, stealing cocoa and oranges and quiver at the consequences if I was found out. I had such big dreams that these small misdemeanours were quickly brushed aside because of my steadfast focus on my commitment to become someone my village and country would be proud of…. the next Hasely Crawford of cricket,” he said.

Lara said another factor is the breakdown of family structures, which can lead to a lack of guidance and supervision for young people.

“The absence of parental figures or positive role models can leave young people vulnerable to negative influences and peer pressure, which can lead to criminal behavior. I was blessed with two wonderful parents Pearl and Bunty that kept all eleven of us in line and motivated to make something of our lives. I don’t think there is a parent that wants a life of crime for their kids but if you don’t pay attention to your offspring someone will happily do so for you,” he said.

He said the availability of illegal firearms is also a major contributor to youth crime in Trinidad and Tobago as guns are often used in gang-related activity, and the possession of firearms has become a symbol of power and status among some young people.

“There is also a lack of access to education and employment opportunities for many young people in Trinidad and Tobago, which can leave them feeling marginalized and frustrated,” he said.

Lara added that without the skills and resources necessary to succeed, some young people will turn to crime as a means of survival.

“It’s heartbreaking to hear about the current state of my village and country, especially with the increase in youth involvement in crime.

It’s important to understand the root causes of this issue and address them through comprehensive strategies that provide education and employment opportunities, promote positive role models and mentorship programs, and improve access to social services and mental health resources. The value of sports should not be ignored, as it can provide a positive outlet for young people and help keep them away from negative influences,” he said.

He said encouraging and investing in sports programs can help channel the energy and passion of young people into something positive, while also providing opportunities for personal growth and development.