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Unhappiness over handling of crime
The spiralling crime situation is a major concern in T&T. Despite the numerous crime initiatives implemented by both present and former administrations there has been no significant decrease in the spate of killings. The year saw a bloody start, with the recording of four murders on January 1. Gunmen have shown that they are a force to be reckoned with as blood continues to flow, pushing the murder rate so far for the year to 63 and counting. It was only earlier this week that Government took a decision to deploy soldiers and police officers in East Port-of-Spain in a bid to curb the level of criminal activities occurring in the area.
A poll recently commissioned by the ANSA McAl Psychological Research Centre, University of the West Indies, St Augustine showed that a large percentage of the respondents are dissatisfied over Government’s handling of crime. The poll conducted between February 3 to 6 was supervised by senior lecturer, Dr Derek Chadee and questioned a random sample of 509 respondents rating Government’s handling of the crime situation in five categories–excellent, good, fair, poor and extremely poor.
Those that felt Government was doing a “good” job—12 per cent—stated:
• Crime is not the Government’s fault.
• Parents need to teach their children.
• The Government needs the help of the people.
Those who said Government was doing a “fair” job—32 per cent—said:
• The Commissioner needs to be more assertive.
• The crime situation has been inherited from the previous regime.
The 33 per cent that gave Government a “poor” rating stated:
• All of their plans have failed so far.
• No Government can fix the problem of crime.
• There have been a lot of crime plans but none of them seem to work.
• It looks like more PR than policing.
Exactly 21 per cent of responds gave Government an “extremely poor” rating.
• They have not seen any improvement.
• The entire system needs to be overhauled.
• There is too much corruption in the system.
• The social aspect is not being addressed.
Analysing responses by ethnicity showed that Afro-Trinidadians were more likely than Indo-Trinidadians to rate the Government’s handling of the crime situation as “poor”. Specifically, 62 per cent Afro-Trinidadians, 52 per cent Mixed and 47 per cent Indo-Trinidadians said “poor”. Similar results were observed for the response “fair” as 34 per cent Indo-Trinidadians, 32 per cent Mixed and 30 per cent Afro-Trinidadians gave that response. The response “good” was stated by 19 per cent Indo-Trinidadians, 16 per cent Mixed and eight per cent Afro-Trinidadians.
With regards to sex, marginal differences were observed between males and females when asked to rate the Government’s handling of the crime situation. Specifically, 57 per cent of females and 51 per cent males stated “poor”. The response “fair” was stated by 35 per cent males and 29 per cent females and 14 per cent females and 14 per cent males said “good”. Exploring responses by education showed a 15 per cent difference between secondary and technical/vocational educated persons stating “poor”. Specifically, 66 per cent technical/vocational, 58 per cent primary, 51 per cent secondary and 50 per cent university educated people rated the Government’s handling of the crime situation as “poor”.
Differences were also observed for respondents stating “fair” as 38 per cent university, 35 per cent secondary, 25 per cent technical/vocational and 25 per cent primary educated persons gave that response. Persons stating “good” were 17 per cent primary, 14 per cent secondary, 12 per cent university and nine per cent technical/vocational educated persons.
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