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Demming: Death of a “Baby Bandit”; Ector’s sobriquet says much about our failed war on crime

How could it be a “Baby Bandit?”

My attention was attracted to the sobriquet “Baby Bandit” in reference to a slain youth-man—David Ector—who turned out to be known to the Police and the community. Both groups knew this person to be euphemistically “walking on thin ice”—allegedly involved in criminal activity. His death was recorded as #297.

The name is interesting. What would inspire the stringing together of these two words to describe a person. What is the symbolism behind the name “Baby Bandit?”

Photo: A young man shows off his firearm.
(Copyright We-heart)

Was he a bandit from birth and if so how? Was he born of a bandit? Was he following in the footsteps of a senior bandit?

These questions and more swarmed in my head as I tried to find relevance and meaning. Even more perplexing was that in the same paragraph the following words were closely juxtaposed: baby, bandit, 297 and murders.

If this is not a wake-up call to cause us to change the game, then I don’t know what is. “Baby-bandit” is an acknowledgement of the Hobbesian perspective that: “life outside society would be solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short” without a Sovereign who has the right to inflict severe punishment on anyone who stepped out of line.

This is in fact the role of the government. Citizens agree to give up some of their rights in exchange for the Sovereign—in our case, the state—taking responsibility for ensuring a certain kind of protection for all of us to exercise some other rights.

So far, successive governments have failed miserably in this responsibility.

The murders are daily occurrences while the UNC and PNM squabble in Parliament and throw shade at each other. The low voter turnout in the recent Local Government Election is another message from the electorate—particularly the young voters—of their disaffection with these parties who are jointly responsible for bringing us to our current sorry state.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley (left) and Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar SC.
(Copyright Power102fm)

I keep dreaming of a collaborative approach to solving this pandemic of criminal activity and while it might be a pipe dream, I shall continue to live in hope.

In the run-up to the 2015 General Election, the People’s Partnership manifesto made 59 references to crime and this is how it crafted Pledge #6 to the people of Trinidad and Tobago: “The People’s Partnership is firm in its zero-tolerance approach to crime. Our unequivocal commitment is to preserve law and order and to rid the country of the blight of crime.

“Crime and law and order remain the number one issue facing our country and this is our top priority for our second term in office.”

Okay, so you did not get the second term you hoped for; but the crime is even worse than when you left office. Why can’t you adopt a bi-partisan approach for the sake of the country you claim to love?

On the other side, the PNM Manifesto stated: “The PNM will simultaneously reform, upgrade, modernise and transform our Police Service and utilise the strength of partnerships through an inter-agency approach.

Photo: Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley.

“The new approach to fighting crime will focus on Regional Corporations and Municipalities. This will facilitate the establishment and operationalisation of Community Safety Partnerships (CSPs).”

Was this mere word-crafting to win votes?

Crime is the major anxiety of our people and provides an opportunity to demonstrate true leadership by both Prime Minister, Dr Keith Rowley and Leader of the Opposition Mrs Kamla Persad-Bissessar. History will reserve a special place if they are able to demonstrate leadership by confronting this major anxiety and committing to its resolution.

If they are able to take a collaborative approach, they will have signalled a new era in the history of Trinidad and Tobago.

If they chose to continue the “one-upmanship game”, they will have consigned us to a life of continuous bickering and fighting. In the absence of collaboration, their joint legacy will be the introduction of the reign of “Baby-Bandit” as the blood of our people wash the streets of Trinidad and Tobago.

History will not be kind to either Prime Minister, Dr Keith Rowley or former Prime Minister Mrs Kamla Persad-Bissessar.

Photo: A candle light vigil for a murder victim.

About Dennise Demming

Dennise Demming
Dennise Demming is an Adjunct Faculty Member at UWI, Media and Communications Strategist, TEDxPOS organiser and co-licensee for TEDxPortofSpain and Chairman of the Board at TTTHTI. Dennise, who grew up in East POS, also has a Business MBA and B.Sc. in Political Science & Public Administration and Mass Communications from UWI.

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7 comments

  1. in the first place why is he involved in banditry .where are his parents

  2. If we continue to live ignorant to the fact, that criminal activities are an individual choice, no government, past, present nor future, will be acceptable. Parents are now delegating responsibility to the penal system to raise their children. And, law enforcement is no longer accepting the transfer of domestic responsibility.

  3. It is difficult to make a collaborative approach when the opp would not want you to succeed when being in power means getting rich for some politicians

  4. Who is this Baby Bandit’s mother and father?……… you know this question was not asked anywhere in this story. Why are we not taking care of our God given responsibility.

  5. Why is it now we link the PNM n
    the UNC with crime,under the UNC it was never done although the. Last 2yrs of thePNM there were over 1000 murders .2008 n2009 how come.?

  6. I have to say from the time National security minister Selwyn Richardson was shot down in front of his home and no serious investigation was follow up, it showed me that the government was highly saturated with corruption and even the judicial system/members fear not if they were next? Listen, lets face the fact that there will be no other Prime Minister that loved and care for the country and its people like Dr. Eric William. And, you know what again, the government don’t even give a thought, a day or name of an air port in his name and what he has done.
    Crime has never risen under the leadership of his administration and if at times it did, there was the good old Randolph Borough at the time we thought, came to early to curb it all. There is no higher call our present government can trust or depend to change the rate of crime in Trinidad. And, its shows that they has no care or love for democracy that entails the people rights to protection of property self and the right to choose how and who should run our government. Its all about self govern and what I mean – there is enough for all who have access and don’t give a worry about who don’t. This was never the approach of Dr. Eric William for country and the people. No one can ever say or heard of Dr. Eric William steeling money selling out our country or just to be in the company of foreign investors for the U.S. dollars. No one. Yet our founding father is not given the credit for his contributions. These Trinidad ministers need to spend the wasted time they waste in hotels and resorts reading the writings of the father and discussing among them self the pros and cons of their interpretations and utilizing it towards the up liftment of the country and its people.
    There is so much to be said and continue.