Published On: Fri, Feb 3rd, 2017

Declare state of emergency, business leaders tell Trinidad and Tobago government

crimePORT OF SPAIN – Trinidad and Tobago is fast becoming “a land of anarchy and chaos”, the country’s business leaders have lamented, and they are urging the Government to declare a limited state of emergency.

In a strong statement pleading with authorities to arrest the crime situation, The Couva/Point ­Lisas Chamber of Commerce, Chaguanas Chamber of Industry and Commerce and the Penal/ Debe Chamber of Commerce said enough was enough and the country had to get a handle on what it described as “a ridiculous state of lawlessness and criminal activities in our country”.

The business groupings bemoaned both Government’s response and that of citizens who have been circulating several violent videos on social media.

“It is evident that we have lost respect for public spaces, as seen on many viral videos that [were] shared via social media recently. This begs the question, what about those that were no captured? It appears we are becoming a land of anarchy and chaos.”

The Chambers suggested that the situation was so dire that it merited Trinidad and Tobago seeking help from other countries to tackle the scourge.

The business leaders also made a strong case for the Government to strengthen the resources of the police force to detect and solve crime.

“More resources should be given to the forensic authorities to assist in the detection rate by increased staffing and updated technology. Given the recent positive changes made in the Licensing Department, this information should be shared with the Trini­dad and Tobago Police Service by introducing a fully computerized system to detect criminal activities, for example, using on-board computer systems in “police vehicles, dash-cam and vest-cam systems.”

More than five years ago, former Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar imposed a state of emergency in Trinidad and Tobago at the height of spiralling crime.

The business community had taken issue with the initiative, expressing concern that it had harmed economic activity, particularly at night.

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