Dear Editor: Why hangman, Gods, and arming citizens won’t address T&T’s “escalating crime rates”

“[…] Trinbagonians have consistently failed to address the root causes of their [crime] problems, remaining trapped in unproductive cycles. It may be startling for them to learn that they themselves contribute to their own situation.

“But a divided nation is a nation to be ruled by the monumentally corrupt. That too is true in the history of nations. The power to initiate change ultimately rests with the electorate, not divine intervention…”

The following Letter to the Editor on Trinidad and Tobago’s presumed collective response to “escalating crime rates” was submitted to Wired868 by Dr Russell D Lutchman MRCPsych LLB (Hons) HRD (Amnesty Int’l) consultant forensic psychiatrist:

A dead body with a toe tag,

A recent analysis of Trinidad and Tobago’s media landscape reveals some all-too-familiar patterns that have emerged in the face of escalating crime rates. The situation is disheartening when I consider the words of two renowned Nobel Laureates in history, later in this correspondence.

I have observed that whenever the population and politicians of T&T feel the pain of a yet another surge in serious crime—like murders—the following invariably happens:

  1. Clamor to reinstate the hangman.
  2. Appeals for increased prayer and divine intervention.
  3. Calls for arming the public and businesses with firearms.

The hard evidence for the above patterns is there for everybody to find and see. There is also hard evidence for the following.

Hangman’s noose
(Copyright Morningstaronline.co.uk)

The hangman was not sent anywhere, to be brought back from. Capital punishment is still the law of the land. The Privy Council has never exiled or banned the hangman. The Privy Council has merely instructed the justice system to ensure due process and appeals are carried out within five years.

For all the prayers to the Gods—ever harder with each crime wave—crime has continued to surge, hitting some new peaks, and becoming more gruesome in nature. If logic were to prevail, one might reasonably infer that the Gods have turned their backs on the citizenry of T&T. But logic has obviously not prevailed.

The call for arms from some politicians and the broader base of citizens represents failure on two important counts:

  1. Those elected to power structures have failed miserably to effect control over serious crime.
  2. The electorate has collectively failed to hold to account their elected leaders.
Minister of National Security Fitzgerald Hinds shows off a destroyed firearm during a TTPS exercise on 26 November 2022.
(Copyright Ministry of National Security)

The above are fundamentally dysfunctional.

Such deeply etched patterns are pre-determinative of future repetitions. Einstein would be gyrating restlessly in his grave if he became aware of the futile patterns in T&T, having said: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

Trinbagonians have consistently failed to address the root causes of their problems, remaining trapped in unproductive cycles. It may be startling for them to learn that they themselves contribute to their own situation.

But a divided nation is a nation to be ruled by the monumentally corrupt. That too is true in the history of nations. The power to initiate change ultimately rests with the electorate, not divine intervention.

A protester shows off her placard after the death of 23-year-old Andrea Bharatt.

As Niels Bohr said: “The opposite of a fact is falsehood but the opposite of one profound truth may very well be another profound truth.”

It is time for Trinidad and Tobago’s electorate to discover new profound truths about themselves that your patterns have failed to make a positive material difference over two decades.

Stop pointing fingers at politicians and the crumbling justice and law enforcement systems. Instead, confront the harsh reality about yourselves.

Alternatively, continue to repeat more of the same and spiral into sheer insanity.

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One comment

  1. Totally agree with this piece. Unfortunately many refuse to that. So the cycles will continue.

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