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Crime and the New Year

Saturday, January 4, 2014

We rang in the New Year in T&T like few other countries can—by killing people. While some of us watched hundreds of thousands of dollars explode in the night sky, others breathed their last as overtime bandits pulled an early-morning shift to cash in on the chaos of gaiety. Beloved calypsonian Shadow nearly lost his life when thieves whisked away his Toyota RAV4. You know how long it took for Shadow to win the Calypso Monarch? You think he has that kind of time left to win again so that he could replace his vehicle? 


On the television news, a pastor, touched either by the hand of God or slapped silly by the hand of naiveté, recounted his tale of reckless bravery confronting a gun-toting home-invader. “I hear him shoutin’. Well, when he come true de door, I had meh tree canal dere (a cutlass). He get ah New Year’s giff he wuzzen expekkin’ and ah let him have it…on he head.” 


A terrifying encounter indeed, made even more terrifying by the pastor’s revelation that his attacker escaped that furious smiting with the cutlass of the Lord. Either the pastor was delinquent in sharpening his cutlass or the bandit in question has a skull forged from adamantium. In the wake of this incident, medical institutions were asked to be on the lookout for a man with chop wounds, although in this country you are going to have to be far more specific. 


We have turned the page on 2013 with 403 murders and with business-like efficiency, we have opened the first quarter of 2014 with a vigorous attempt to achieve the figures we failed to in the last quarter of the past year. National Security Minister Gary Griffith, when questioned about the rollover of the trend in violent crime, sounded firm. “This year is going to be very important…I intend to transform the whole national security structure, reduce the fear of crime and fire all those rogue officers.”


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