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Griffith laments high murder rate in Caribbean
The Caribbean region has been averaging, on a continual basis, an unacceptable high rate of murders, averaging around 30 per 100,000 citizens, says National Security Minister Gary Griffith. He made the remarks at the opening of the Association of Caribbean Commissioners of Police at the Hyatt Recency, Port-of-Spain. The four-day conference is titled: “Working in partnership to combat trans-national organised crime.” Griffith said the crime situation in T&T was an unfortunate mirror image of what was happening in the wider Caribbean. “In our country, while we have seen a massive drop in total serious crimes over recent years, reaching a 29-year low in 2013, we are still challenged with the unacceptable high rate of murders.
“Statistics show that more than 70 per cent of all murders in T&T and the Caribbean region were committed by firearms as the weapon of choice of criminals,” Griffith added. He said it was imperative that Caribbean law enforcement leaders used conferences, like that of yesterday’s, to explore innovative alternatives to the traditional law enforcement approach, to develop workable solutions and new methods to reduce the vulnerabilities commonly exploited by trans-national organised crime.
“As decision-makers, it is our collective responsibility to ensure that appropriate policy is made available to counter those engaging in trans-national organised crime. “T&T is pursuing an aggressive legislative agenda to deliver relevant pieces of legislation which can further strengthen the ability of our Police Service to effectively address crime,” Griffith said. As decision-makers, it was the region’s collective responsibility to ensure that appropriate policy was made available to counter criminals engaged in trans-national organised crime, he added.