Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley is urging young people to move away from a life of crime as the murder toll in Trinidad and Tobago reached above 50 with the killings of several people over the past 24 hours.
In a statement, Rowley said that while crime has been, for some time, one of the most, if not the most critical issues facing Trinidad and Tobago, “the particularly heinous murders over the recent weeks have been nothing short of traumatizing for the entire nation.”
“The loss of life through violent and unlawful means is wholly unacceptable. In recent weeks we have seen teenaged school girls being abducted and their young lives brutally snuffed out. Women continue to die through violent means. We are witnessing scenes where bodies are being dismembered and humiliated for display.”
Rowley said that every murder is considered objectionable by his government but the especially abhorrent types of murders occurring in recent weeks have brought an acute sense of terror and trauma to citizens.
Prime Minister Rowley said he was appealing to “all those young persons who might be influenced by or attracted to violent criminal activity to consider the frequency with which such activities end in grief not only for their families but for the wider national community”.
He said the young people should also reflect on alternatives “which would provide more acceptable outcomes to their valuable lives”.
Figures show that so far this year, 55 people have been murdered, the highest for any individual month over the past four years. Last year January, 49 people were killed. In 2016, police figure showed that 463 people were murdered in Trinidad and Tobago.