Children Being Lured into Crime

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By Sue-Ann Wayow

“ARE we taking stock of the root causes of why crime is so prevalent in our country?”

This question is being asked by Creative Director of theatre arts company D MAD (Drama Making a Difference) Andre “Ziggy” Dillon.

Ziggy, speaking with AZP News said the news of the quadruple murder of four young people in the Heights of Guanapo, Arima as hideous as it was, may be forgotten by this week.

“That is what is urking me,” he said.

Ziggy said, “What is disturbing is that we not taking stock and we not doing anything about it.”

D MAD is about making a difference in lives, mainly young people using theatre as an educational and entertainment mechanism.

Having worked with many youths over the years, Ziggy said, “The root cause of this from what I seeing, is that we are not deliberately going after our young people and giving them the resources that they could be positive and to be productive members of our society, members of our society that contribute and not necessarily take away from.”

He made the observation that just last month, the local government elections were held and a lot of resources went into paving roads, fixing street lights, installing running water just so that a political party could retain the reigns of power or get to hold its reigns.

“It is amazing how the system could work when you want it to work for you,” Ziggy said.

He asked another question, “Do we have a systematic civil society programme to help with some of the issues that plaguing our nation?”

Ziggy said, “Behind crime is anger. Behind crime is greed. The moral fabric that keeps our society together, we are not paying any attention to that and when our society is breaking down, we are using cosmetic things like fixing the roads and fixing amenities to pacify the citizens.”

He said not only did one woman lose her children, her support system would have been shot down even before that, like others in Trinidad and Tobago who was working hard to make ends meet to provide for their families and the children may not get the protection and provision, they need.

Some children may be lured into a life of crime by gang leaders giving them money which their parents may not be able to provide.

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What was not working well enough were the policing and judicial systems Ziggy said.

He said that based on reports coming out of the Central Statistical Office (CSO), a minuscule percentage of persons and average of 6% who get arrested, actually go to court or get remanded into custody and therefore the system was not working.

According to CSO’s data for 2022 alone, there were 30,640 reports to police, 10,698 prosecutions instituted and 1,319 convictions secured.

Ziggy told AZP News, “Guess who know this not working – the criminals and that is why they are so blatant. They could go up in Arima and take some guns and shoot up a whole family and walk out because chances they would not be in the first 6% and if they be in the first 6%, chances are they would not be in the second 6%. The odds working towards the criminal.”

He added, “It is just sad to know it have people who could do something about this but fail to do anything about it because of greed and these people include the police, lawyers, judges.”

Corruption at all levels played a key deterrent role in preventing criminals from being convicted, Ziggy said.


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