The Catholic Commission for Social Justice (CCSJ) and the Greater Caribbean for Life (GCL) is urging T&T’s Government to focus on human development and crime prevention rather than expend time and energy in seeking to resume hanging.
CCSJ & GCL are aware that passions are running high in T&T because of the recent brutal murder of 23-year-old Andrea Bharatt, barely two months after 18-year-old Ashanti Riley was also murdered.
In a release on Monday, February 8, the organisations condemned the rise of violent crime in the region and expressed solidarity with victims. It however stated, the call by some to resume hanging is not going to fix the many problems that have led to this juncture where women and girls, indeed, citizens in general, are unable to go about their daily lives in peace.
“Baying for blood will not fix, for example, our dysfunctional families so that men and women will develop mutual respect for each other; it will not address the gross deficiencies in our criminal justice system,” the release said.
It is time to stop the “blame game” in T&T and use collective human ingenuity to devise strategies to address the root causes of crime in the country. The statement said to some extent, crime flourishes in T&T because moral and ethical values are not being nurtured at home or in schools.
“Conscience formation is critical if we are to build a just society. And each of us must step up to the plate to play our role. Often domestic violence is fuelled by the silence of many who see/know something and say nothing. We are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers,” the release stated.
It pointed to inadequacies in law enforcement and a lack of effective preventive measures hinder progress. To this end, the CCSJ and GCL called for the authorities to strengthen the criminal justice system by spending more money on crime prevention. The release also identified for action: improving law enforcement agencies, dealing with inordinate delays in the system, developing and implementing effective witness-protection programmes and dealing with incompetence and corruption. Read the full release here.