CRIME is now an apparent lucrative business and police commissioners should unite in the fight against it.
National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds on Monday said organised crime created a multitude of problems, especially for youths.
He was addressing the opening session of the 37th annual general meeting of the Association of Caribbean Commissioners of Police (ACCP), at the Hyatt Regency, Port of Spain.
Last month, Trinidad and Tobago also hosted a regional symposium with focus on violence as a public health issue.
Hinds made reference to that conference.
He said, “Organised crime is the catalyst for these unwanted ills. It is the main problem because it has spawned crime business models and made a big business of crime.
“It has professionalised it, made it transnational, generating huge income streams from drug trafficking and extortion and it has made the criminal networks powerful players in a number of our little communities around this region.”
Profits garnered from criminal activities undermined the work and profits obtained through legal means Hinds said.
President of the International Association of Police Chiefs John Letteny also said that based on information on information from the United Nations, the UN found that an estimated $1.6 trillion or 2.7% of the global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was laundered annually and that casualties from organised crime, far exceeded those from ordinary conflicts.
In speaking about the murder rates, Hinds said, “Many countries of our region have surpassed previous murder records already for this year with eight of us falling in the top twenty of the world’s most dangerous countries based on the high rates of homicides per capita.”
He added, “The rate of violent deaths in Caricom member states is almost three times the global average.”
Trinidad and Tobago Police Commissioner Erla Harewood-Christopher also spoke.
The conference featured commissioners of police from Caribbean islands and also included presentations from members of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol) on law enforcement studies.
It is scheduled to continue until Friday.