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If January, just behind us, is to be replicated over the next 11 months, we face a record-breaking number of murders in a year in Trinidad and Tobago. Although this is a record we must avoid at all costs, there’s a considerable chance we will get there.
Right now, there’s no credible reason for criminals to stop their killing spree as the country’s underworld continues to operate relatively freely, the country’s coast remains porous to drugs and guns (and even more so with the deteriorating state of Venezuela) and our authorities continue to appear unable or uninterested in acting decisively to deal with the problem.
This scenario, so favourable to criminals but disastrous for the man and woman in the street, is unlikely to change. One hope we had for 2018 was that, with a new Police Commissioner with the authority and mandate to tackle crime, things would begin to change. As questions grow over the way the selection process was conducted, we may have a weakened Commissioner even before he starts. Another hope gone.
There should be little controversy over the refurbishment of a hotel’s leisure space like the Port-of-Spain Hilton’s pool area upgrade. After all, hotels must constantly upgrade their facilities if they are to remain competitive in the ruthless hospitality market. The problem is that the bill is being covered by this country’s taxpayers as the Hilton is just a tenant of a property still owned by the state.
Ending up paying for and managing the upgrade of a hotel’s poolside is just one of the many odd roles our government play, as it hangs on to property and businesses it is not good at managing. It should consider whether this should continue. After all, no government in the world has mastered the ability of running the state with running a business empire.
Lost at home
It’s a relief to know that the group of campers who became stranded at Madamas Bay is safely back home. Tales of people stranded on desert islands, relying on coconuts and fish to survive, are usually stuff of books and films, not a real story on an island with over one million inhabitants.
Those rescued will have a harrowing but interesting story to tell of an unexpected adventure. And those behind the rescue mission ought to be congratulated for their actions, swiftly bringing the campers back to safety.
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