Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley. Photo: T&T Parliament
Rowley: Don’t Blame Violence on Pandemic
‘Violence in our society is now a public health issue. It is not an erratic passing, now and then thing. It seems to be a feature of human behaviour…’ – Dr Keith Rowley
By Sue-Ann Wayow
VIOLENCE should now be treated as a public health issue.
And the Covid-19 pandemic should also not be blamed for the increase in cases of violence in Trinidad and Tobago.
This is according to Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley who said countries have been treating violence as a public health issue and this country should attempt to do the same.
He also said that as long as crime exists, the government has to do more for its prevention.
Dr Rowley was speaking at the post-Cabinet press conference on Thursday.
He said, “Violence in our society is now a public health issue. It is not an erratic passing, now and then thing. It seems to be a feature of human behaviour, prominent in the society where large numbers of people are willing to participate to the detriment of larger numbers of people.”
The Prime Minister said he has been involved in discussions where experts have suggested treating violence as a public health issue.
“I think we are going to go back there and have the national conversation elevated from blame the man and blame the officer, to how do we as a society make interventions,” he said.
Dr Rowley said he wondered on many occasions especially when he visits primary schools, what could possess an innocent little child to at a later point in time, commit acts of grievous violence; and the crimes that hurt the most were the ones amongst families.
“I cannot recall a period of time wherein a matter of weeks seen the viciousness of crime, the frequency of crime in a matter of weeks among family members, out on the street and it is just a while ago that I made the comment that we are a violent society and apparently there are some people who are attempting to prove that statement true,” he said.
The seriousness of the situation required many interventions and while there were many in place, “certainly, they aren’t enough,” Dr Rowley added.
“As long as the crime is going on, there is need to do more,” he said.
Dr Rowley also declared, “In my book, nobody getting a pass in this country where crime is concerned.”
And he said while there were some that believed persons having more guns would solve the problem, that was not a solution.