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Dear Editor: Sport and social activities can address Enterprise crime spike

“[…] What we see happening did not erupt over night. This is a result of neglect of the community and the youth by those tasked with the authority to assist, like their local representatives, MP, and the Mayor.

“[…] One must understand that involvement in sports and social activities reduces some of the negative outcomes associated with living in marginalised or underserved communities—more so, social interaction teaches individuals how to work with others, recognise each other’s strengths, and work together as a team. This is vital in communities such as Enterprise…”

The following Letter to the Editor on the supposed root of the current crime wave in Enterprise, Chaguanas and how to address it was submitted to Wired868 by a ‘Concerned Resident’:

A thug shows off his gun.

You would have all seen a drastic escalation in criminal activities in the Enterprise community in recent times. A once peaceful community that came into the spotlight in 2015, when for the first time turf war started with neighboring communities fighting against each other.

Being a member of the community, you would understand the various social issues that have plagued the community over the years: poor parenting, poverty, unemployment, single parenting, drug abuse, juvenile delinquency, to name a few.

KFC Munch Pack

Yet, the ugly face of crime and criminal activities never showed its face boldly like today. Don’t get me wrong though, there’s always been a bad stigma—but it was worst than the reality at the time.

Certainly, the reality now is a scary sight. To think that armed individuals would resort to opening fire at a playing field in a close knit community like Enterprise, ultimately killing an innocent aspiring footballer on a ground where kids play practically right outside of their doorsteps.

Chaguanas North Secondary attacker Arron Raymond (left) pressures Moruga Secondary defender Justin Ochoa during SSFL Premier Division action in African Grounds, Enterprise on 8 October 2022.
The SSFL has suspended all football matches at African Grounds due to a murder outside the ground on Saturday 15 October 2022.
(Copyright Daniel Prentice/ Wired868)

Things seem totally out of control and immediate intervention must occur to curb this situation. It has become a situation where parents are uncomfortable to send their kids outside of their own doors. Kids now feel unsafe in their own community and social activities have halted. Halted!

So, what has gone wrong in Enterprise?

What we see happening did not erupt over night. This is a result of neglect of the community and the youth by those tasked with the authority to assist, like their local representatives, MP, and the Mayor.

The reality is in the community of Enterprise both Enterprise North and South community grounds have been neglected. For months they are not groomed, fields remain overgrown, surface areas are unplayable, and play parks are dirty and dilapidated making it impossible for kids to use them.

These are familiar sights at most recreational grounds in Enterprise and environs: Postman Recreational-Crown Trace, Dass Trace and Chrisse Trace. This has been a regular issue for over two years, despite pleas for help.

A snap of the Crown Trace Savannah in October 2022.

The community’s outdoor sporting, recreational and social groups, which aid in social intervention, are robbed of the opportunity to assist the at-risk youth in the community because there are no longer safe spaces to carry about their activities.

So this is not a problem that was exacerbated by neglect.

One must understand that involvement in sports and social activities reduces some of the negative outcomes associated with living in marginalized or underserved communities—more so, social interaction teaches individuals how to work with others, recognise each other’s strengths, and work together as a team. This is vital in communities such as Enterprise.

When we speak about immediate intervention, it goes way beyond having a police post set up with officers walk about in the community. What we need is the opportunity to have spaces where social interaction can occur so that the mindset of the youth can be changed.

An image of the dilapidated Postman Recreational Basketball Court in October 2022.

For too long they have been idle through no fault of theirs.

Kids of all backgrounds and socio-economic status deserve the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of sports and social interactions, and the positive impact that it has on their community. The list of benefits could go on and on.

This is what has gone wrong in Enterprise!

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Letters to the Editor
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3 comments

  1. You are waiting for a mayor to do for you what you should be doing yourself. TT is a free country, anybody can organize a sports day, just as people organize Fetes they can use that same drive and money and organize a sports day.

  2. A former mayor once said ‘he is not doing anything to benefit Chaguanas North and South Secondary schools’ Yet every year the borough grades the neighbouring field in Lange Park with the same piece of equipment that is never available for use on the schools adjacent playing field. The Chaguanas Borough Corporation needs to answer ‘dey too wicked’

  3. I feel heart broken to see what has happened in Enterprise. The community needs assistance. Hopefully, those in charge would see the need to intervene. Hopefully