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.