So Kevin Baldeosingh is still not now writing for any local newspaperbecause of religious reasons and Pro Max is still at large because of his politics and contempt. But life goes on even if criminals have cranked it up two notches and Martin Joseph has graced our TV screens with an image of confident cluelessness. Still, I find it hard to dislike Martin Joseph since my ridiculously happy childhood prevents me from hating a clown. I can laugh at a clown, I can run from a clown, and I can even kick a clown in its balls if necessary but I cannot hate a clown. But Martin is not responsible for crime in the country and he is only responsible for admitting in public what the murder toll is. Outside of that public reporting function, Mr. Joseph has very little to do except to make sure criminal deportees are welcomed, the latest crime plan goes to waste in cabinet, and that there is enough helium for the blimp to float in the sky.
To make matters ridiculous, there are reports appearing in the Guardian today that says a Jamaicanhit man was hired to assassinate a senior police officer. Putting a hit on anyone is disgusting but with the Chinese already getting jobs ahead of locals at Alutrint and there is now a threat that the hit man industry may go Jamaican, I see another protest brewing. What is wrong with our local snipers? Haven’t they been doing a good job for years? Why take out a hit on a police officer since police officers have very little involvement in solving any crime? Is that our 2020 vision? Is the importation of Jamaican criminal talent any way to develop our local crime industry? This is wrong for the country and even someone like Pro Max could see this.
A senior police officer says the multimillion dollar CCTV cameras installed to protect Summit leaders are still working and as soon as any camera stops working there is an alarm at the Command Center causing a technician to be immediately dispatched to fix the delinquent camera. We await the images from these working cameras showing when the driver of the truck near the Maloney intersection was hijacked and murdered in daylight, close to a CCTV camera. I wonder if the criminals know more about the CCTV system than the senior police officers? Just wondering.
The Trinidad Guardian today carried a summary of current Travel Advisories for Trinidad and Tobago. These Advisories truthfully warn visitors that Trinidad and Tobago is a haven for crime where visitors’ bodies and their possessions are at great risk. These Travel advisories paint Trinidad and Tobago as a place where criminals and their guns are safe and where no crime is solved.
In an apparent retaliation for these advisories from five countries that have already attained 2020 status, the Government is planning to unleash, once again, The Minister of Works or a similar dodo head onto the population. It is also expected that either the Commissioner of Police or The Minister of National Security will go on TV and state this will be the safest Carnival ever but nothing about after. The population will jump up and down on hearing these words of reassurance and feel safe once again. The Minister of Works will call these travel advisories mischievous and foolish and put the blame on the Opposition while The Prime Minister will continue looking through newly acquired files for more evidence against The Leader of The Opposition and upload a new profile picture on Facebook. The Minister of Finance will continue Googling and Wikipediaing Financial terms and concepts. While all this Ministerial activity is going on three hundred serious crimes including three UDECOTT tender awards would have occurred.
Government’s Vision is clear and that is what is so frightening.
Welcome to Trinidad and Tobago, welcome to paradise…
Over the last seven days I had three friends who were victims of crime. One was robbed of his car and valuables in Chaguanas in broad daylight on a busy street. Another one was held up at a small, newly-opened fruit stall in Curepe, and the other had his car broken into in St. Augustine while he and his family were asleep. In the last case, the bandits fired two shots at my friend, with one of the bullets lodging into the wall, about one foot from my friend’s face. The bandit fired at him because he had the nerve to look out the window to see why his car alarm went off. The police are yet to either make any headway or visit the crime scenes in all these cases. But then again, criminals don’t investigate their peers.
If you read the crime accounts above you might think that crime is out of control in Trinidad and Tobago. You wouldn’t be wrong. The amount of murders so far this year is just over 260, up from about 150 the year before and it is already one of the highest murder rates in the world. The Prime Minister’s answer to this crime epidemic is somewhere between silence, ignorance and hosting two useless and completely unrelated conferences which will greatly inconvenience the population but boost his fragile ego. Regrettably, there is no end to the crime spate outside of calling Batman to battle the Joker.
However, all is not lost since out of crisis comes opportunity and here is one the Government should pounce on. Trinidad and Tobago can start something called crime tourism. Crime tourism can target two types of tourist. The first is the brave and daring tourists who want some adventure in their lives that is not easily found in their country. Adventure in the form of holdups, kidnappings, muggings and rapes can be offered by tour operators. The other class of tourist can be the criminals themselves who are fed up of being caught and brought to justice in their own country and want to practice their craft without obstruction. With eco tourism on its way out and polluted rivers and streets losing its charm, crime tourism is not only the way forward but an opportunity of a lifetime. The Government should waste no time on this new and innovative form of tourism remembering that the only thing they can do with the lemons they planted over the years is to make sugar-resistant lemonade.
According to a recent news report, Mr. Eliot Spitzer, Governor of New York is being called to resign after it was revealed he hired a high-priced prostitute. What I wasn’t clear about was why the stress on high-priced. Are his detractors saying he should have gone for a low-priced prostitute instead? Is the crime one of hiring a prostitute, or the price of the prostitute? Should he have negotiated a better rate or report the scandalous fee of $1,000 per hour to the Prices Commission? Is the crime one of hiring a prostitute in the office that he is in or independent of that? Was the aim of the news report to create fantasies in the minds of readers of high-priced versus low-priced? The news report never suggested a price range for low-priced prostitutes so I assume the reporter was quite sure the price was high.
Naturally, it’s wrong to hire a prostitute regardless of price and especially if you have many enemies, get caught, and the subject of news reports and prominent blogs. Maybe the news would not have been so dramatic if Mr. Spitzer had contracted the services of a low-priced prostitute. I don’t know.
Seriously though, I think we expect too much from politicians, a profession which has a worse reputation than prostitution and infinitely more destructive. Some of Spitzer’s supporters are suggesting he be given a break but I thought Giving Him a Break is what started this entire fiasco to begin with.
Managing risk successfully is what good insurance companies do. Recently, an innovative insurance company came up with a loss of earnings plan for bandits and other criminals. To subscribe to the plan crooks will have to pay a premium based of their worth. However, criminals must first provide proof of what they earned over the last year and this could take the form of laundered bank accounts, buried loot, or even the victims’ ATM withdrawal slips accompanied by the relevant CCTV footage from the bank showing terrified victims posing next to the satisfied robber. Also, the criminal must be able to show criminal records of the amount of time spent in captivity. The insurance company will forgo the latter requirement, as it is currently irrelevant.
The criminals will qualify for benefits under the plan in the unlikely event they end up in jail. That is why it’s considered low risk and profitable for the insurance firm. Other insurance companies are now jumping into this risk-free business, enticing bandits with bandit bags filled with various lengths of ropes, ski masks and even an easy-victims list. The Bandits and Criminals Association have met the new policy proposal with some enthusiasm but scoffed at the easy victims list saying all victims are now easy. The president of the Association, Mr. U. Catchme Nah, said this validated the existence of the members of his Association and it was like a next dream come true. He also said that he hoped society would now recognize criminal activity for what it truly is – a profitable career with a brighter future than even politics or blogging.
The Police Service has given up on crime. The Commissioner made the announcement only seconds after he and the Minister of National Security both received Cabinet’s highest award, The Ostrich. The Commissioner reassured criminals they (the Criminals) would continue to be able to do as they please without any fear of being troubled by anyone in authority, but only now, he said, it has become official. He admitted the Police had given up on the whole crime thing years ago when it became apparent there was a serious conflict of interest within the organization in solving and preventing crime. The Commissioner admitted he did nothing over the years but cannot think of anything more he couldn’t do. The Minister is still unable to think. The clueless CoP further went on to say no officers would be laid off since police officers need to be paid for doing nothing as usual. The Top CoP defended the Authorities saying they only appeared idle to the untrained eye but they were in actuality spending time looking at redeploying some officers into the criminal guidance counseling field. This would provide much needed comfort to the criminals, especially newcomers who are unsure which illicit activity they should carry out and the best locations to start.
This latest initiative drew angry responses from the Getaway Car Drivers Association who claim the need for their services will be reduced considerably. The Commissioner, in an uncharacteristic immediate response, scoffed at this simply saying “The Police doe chase nobody.” Not withstanding this hullabaloo, The Top Brass said Getaway Drivers could be retrained and there were still one or two streets that were mugger-free. The Commissioner urged citizens not to despair since he has been reliably informed that all current criminal offenses will be removed from the law books, immediately freeing up the courts and dropping the crime rate to zero. This will also make crime a thing of the past. As a result of this latest development, the failed witness protection and the successful witness eradication programs will come to an end but police canteens will continue to operate with full force.
Citizens yawned at this latest development from behind their burglarproof windows saying, “So what’s new.”