When a political party is in Government, they have control of all the resources of the state. The Prime Minister becomes the head of the National Security Council and he, in turn, appoints Ministers and in turn the Government can either supply or restrict the number of resources the Police Service, Coast Guard, Air Guard, and the Regiment can be blessed with. The number of resources such as vehicles, helicopters, boats all plays a direct role in crime-fighting.
For the purpose of this simple observation, we shall use the murder rate as a determinant of crime-fighting success as murder is the most serious and appalling problem we as a society face. We can all agree that a family can recover from a robbery but they can never recover from having a relative murdered. This is by no way justifying robberies or any other form of crime, just for this observation we shall use the murder rate as a determining factor.
Beginning in 1995 under Basdeo Panday and the UNC’s first stint in Government the murder rate was at 122. In 1996 it was at 106. In 1997 it decreased further to 101, In 1998 the murder rate for the first time dropped below 100 to 98, then in 1999 it dropped again to 93.
With the political instability in 2001 and the appointment of Patrick Manning as Prime Minister in 2001, the PNM returned to power after another election that was called. The PNM then remained in office till 2010 and let us examine the murder rates during their time in office and compare it to the UNC’s.
Beginning in 2001 the murder rate climbed to 151, then in 2002 it went to 171, in 2003 it rose to a further 229, in 2004 it climbed again to 260 and it kept increasing until it jumped to 550 in 2008 and declined by a few to 509 in 2009. Again we can see that a drastic increase from 93 murders under the UNC to 550 under the PNM in under 10 years.
Under the UNC again in 2010 to 2015, we saw the murder rate decreasing to a low of 354.
Under Keith Rowley we are now experiencing another upsurge of murders : 463 murders in 2016, to 494 in 2017 and then 516 in 2018, 522 in 2019 and this year, 2020 the murder rate seems on track to be high again.
To his credit, Gary Griffith has been trying.
Word is also that gangs are fighting over state contracts. How is that ever acceptable in any society? It is time the citizens demand better.