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Forum: Crime in the Caribbean
The Caribbean's crime rate is said to be four times the US, and 15 times the West and Central European average.
Concerns are mounting over the worryingly high incidence of violent crime across the Caribbean.

An article in the The Economist magazine quotes a World Bank -UN report as saying that the region - better known for its blue skies, cricket and rum punch, was the world leader in violent crime.

The joint United Nations-World Bank study last year, said the region had a murder rate of 30 per 100,000 inhabitants - four times the North American figure and 15 times the West and Central European average.

New report released

Meanwhile, the Caribbean is listed among the countries with the highest levels of organised crime, according to a new book.

The book titled World of Crime, is by Dutch university professor and former UN official Jan van Dijk.

He says the international community ignores at its peril how organized crime undermines efforts to improve governance and fight poverty.

Professor van Dijk says organized crime is shown to be highest in the Caribbean, Central Asia, Eastern Europe and West and Central Africa.

He criticizes development aid agencies, the UNDP and international institutions such as the World Bank for not acknowledging the priority need for tackling organized crime as part of their strategies.

What's the cause, what's solution?

Have your say

Why should they carry knifes when you know you are losing some one else’s life and you can go to prison for life and not see any of your family so cut down on the knives. Thank you.
Jodie Oliver
Droitwich, England

As someone of Jamaican parents who visits Jamaica every couple of years, I feel really sad about the levels of crime in Jamaica. I do think a lot of it is down to education and I think the government needs to do so much more than they are. It struck me when I stayed at a hotel in Ocho Rios last year that the money is not being invested back into the country. People who stay in the hotels are told not to go out! Sure, it provides jobs for locals, but you step outside the hotel gates and there's people begging you. Come on Bruce Golding, put your money where your mouth is!
London, UK

The solution for crime in the Caribbean is harsh punishment, like the death penalty for killers
Robert Ramsy

People having children when they shouldn't be, and bad parenting skills cause much of the crime
Jacq Danields
London, UK

I think that the laws are not tough enough, and are not enforced to their max. The Governments of most countries in the Caribbean are just stupid, and we need to recruit the brains that have left the shores to seek better education.
Toronto, Canada

I think that crime in Guyana has become something more than any of us Guyanese could've ever imagined. Gangs are being formed in slums all over the country; they rob, loot, terrorise and kill senselessly...all for their gain (as a gang). Monies taken in robberies are used to acquire rapid-fire high end weapons and ammunition, which are unmatched anywhere else in Guyana. The armed dangerous force, neither the Guyana Police Force nor the Guyana Defence Force can reckon with. I think that the situation is one that cannot be rectified in the near future, simply because required funds needed desperately by the Guyana Police Force and the Guyana Military are NOT directed to these areas. Secondly, these two crime fighting agencies need to be reformed; it is evident that ranks within these services are highly incapable of carrying out duties sworn to them. High levels of illiteracy, among members of the force and military units, serve as a decent example of the forces inefficiency. How are plans/attacks executed? How can efficient reports be made? Even more so, how can these agencies be tasked with protecting a country at large. With billions being pumped into the Guyana Revenue weekly, thanks to the implementation of Value Added crime fighting equipment should have already been realised for the forces. It is absurd that the president's helicopter has to be used to carry out 'over-looks and hunts' whenever the police requires a chopper. It is inevitable that crime, and crime lords, will rule Guyana until the Government of Guyana begins to invest substantially in its peace keeping forces.
No name given
GT, Guyana

I believe the crime rate in St Lucia will not decrease unless the government of St Lucia invest in the youth of the nation. Then, and only then, something can be done. It is high time that the government put some action to the statements they constantly make.
Castries, St Lucia

The crime situation in Guyana is really bad. You cannot sleep at night. You only afraid for your children’s life, and all others. If there is a noise, the children become afraid in their own home. The government of Guyana should do something about it. I feel like to leave this Country with my children and never come back to Guyana. But I do not have any where to go. It really hard in Guyana to see your love ones being killed and you cannot do anything about it. It is really sad to see what has become of Guyana. Guyana is the country of crime, and a country for criminals. They have no feeling when they are killing innocent children. The government of Guyana should have the death penalty. Do not send them back to prison it is a waste of time.
Bibi N Ally
Georgetown, Guyana

The Caribbean lacks security experts in dealing with the present crime situation within the region. There must be a proactive approach in dealing with crime. Although the region has criminologists, they usually theorize on crime. I make this point to show that it will be difficult for the region to combat an increase in crime, since we are lacking people of such high qualifications to get the job done. We must understand that the criminal is becoming more scientific in his approach to committing crime. The police are reactive; they must adopt a more proactive approach to crime. Although there is justification in the report, it is the responsibility of the governments within the region to seek out the Security Experts to help reduce the incidence of violent crime. They know the local conditions, and they have the knowledge to create measures which will help the reduction in crime.
Morris Springer
St.Lucy, Barbados

The people of Jamaica are miserable and hungry. They have big dreams and great aspirations, but they have no means, no way out. They don’t have the tunnel to see the light at the end of. The government of Jamaica must in this very instant, take urgent and significant measures to curb the crime problems inextricably linked to social, economic and political ills. Many Jamaicans, even students here at the University of the West Indies, do not believe that we can solve the problem. But for me, it is not up for discussion on whether we can or we cannot - WE MUST. The most overwhelming factor is the state of the economy. A better economy will improve the standard of living, which will minus negative social habits and inevitably reduce crime.
Leshana Campbell
Kingston, Jamaica

Governments in the region have only been giving lip service to the development of the police forces in the region. Today our officers are still operating with old obsolete equipment, while the criminals have modern hardware. Speak to officers and you will see how much morale among their ranks are lacking. Today officers are working only because there is a little money at the end of the month, REAL COMMITMENT IS LACKING. And there is the need for less political interference in the affairs of the police force. The political bosses need to equip the officers and spend much more on training; if this is not done we will continue to experience a continued rise in crime in the region
Loxley John
St Patrick, Grenada

We can argue that the family is responsible for raising children. However, as we are all aware, there are more single parents in the Caribbean then ever before, and the family unity is diminishing. How many times have you observed two children being raised by the same parents or a single mother, and one would become successful and the other, perhaps, would join a gang and eventually become a criminal? I am confident that if measures are put in place by the government to reduce, or even eliminate, this crime epidemic, it can be done! Effective training for police officers and, perhaps, CCTV cameras are just a few measures which can be implemented. I am convinced that this crime issue can be managed once the government takes serious action.
P. Johnson
Castries, St Lucia

I have been to many islands in the Caribbean and I have to ask the question "Law enforcement; does it exist in the Caribbean?" It pains me to say this but the Police need policing more than some of the criminals. Respect is earned - its not a right. The lack of fear and respect are reflected in the crime figures.
Staten Island, NY, USA

I believe this surge of criminal activities can be attributed to two main sources: the media and family. It matters not about government this and that! We live in an era where we are exposed to all sorts of evil, and where Christian values are pushed out the door! Let's train our kids right! Whether we have 6 or 7! The solution can only be Jesus and education. But who knows! Maybe we'll be fighting a losing battle cause such things have been predicted long ago!
LuLu Lewis
St. George's, Grenada

I think when governments in the Caribbean, specifically Trinidad and Tobago, realize that education and social development is key to a country's economic growth. And not how many financial companies we can convince to invest in the country, or how many hotels we can build to boost tourism - only then will change take place. As a citizen of T&T, I am angry at a government system that allows the same two political leaders to become prime minister over and over for the past 20yrs. Obviously, with no room for new ideas, the same problems of poverty and crime will be allowed to exist. In a country where the poor only get poorer, and the social elite only getting richer, and ministers of parliament seem to have no solution to the shortage of jobs for people who have limited skills. People then take it upon themselves to make sure they have food to eat or the latest fashion to wear. With a police system also that outdated and police personnel who are underpaid and who are not given the tools to successfully do their job. It’s a miracle that things aren’t in complete chaos. Then we have aid agencies like the World Bank who say they want to help foster change but almost always leave third world countries in worst situation’s than where they started.
A Philip
NYC, New York

I wonder whether it’s not the rate per population causing the crime rate to be so high as you pointed out in your article? Nevertheless, the deportation of persons charged with criminal offences in the US and Europe may be one of the contributors; another is the number of violent movies, especially cartoons that our little children are exposed to. The day they begin to see, plays a major role, plus the games the children play on the various consoles, works a lot on their minds and controls even their action. Another major contributor is illegal drugs, including alcohol.
The solution? Give parents back their God-given right to correct their children; The Church needs to educate its members; Bring back the morals we had in our schools in the past; Rehabilitation centers to assist those in need; and Government to put regulations in place to deal offenders.
Clayton Florent

It starts with the politicians. To get a vote they allow a lot of underhand things to go without due process in the courts. When election time come around they give these people money to encourage their votes. There is also a need to bring back hanging and the birch in a lot of these islands. A lot of the people feel they can do as they like and the law can't affect them, because they have the political dictorate on their side, " the poor black man ", usually the saying among them.
da Santos
Bridgetown, Barbados

Analysing the causes of violent crime is important in order to find practical solutions. Poverty, the drug/weapon trade, corrupt officials, a weak judiciary, dysfunctional families, deportation, organized gangs, are just some of the issues linked to our high rate of crime in the Caribbean. In the region, the drugs/weapon trade forms a significant part of our nation's GDP and so our individual economies should not only grow faster than this illicit trade but offer real and tangible opportunities to our your young people. We must also tackle corruption (including the rank-and-file) regardless of political affiliation. Our judicial system is partially at fault too as many accused criminals can 'beat the system' by hiring high priced lawyers (with at least seven years training) who are no match for the prosecution typically composed of untrained police officers (in Belize typically six months training) and inexperienced prosecutors. This, along with the lack of eyewitness testimony eventually results in acquittals with leads to vigilante justice thus intensifying the cycle of violence.
E. Irving
Belize City, Belize

The Caribbean is living in a false economic reality, millions of tourists spending, profits go into foreign banks for foreign investors, while the locals live with high unemployment, disease, and debts. The region has the second highest HIV/AIDS rate after sub-Saharan Africa, one of the highest crime rates in the world, and yet it is being promoted as doing well due to its multi-billion tourist industry. The poverty in the Caribbean is completely ignored, purposefully. The crime is a direct consequence of that disillusion.
Ulrick Gaillard
New York, United States

As a Dominican, crime in the Caribbean is due to corruption, lack of opportunity lack of education, and drugs. This needs to change to guarantee a better future for all.
New York, USA

I think people should go to church more. It’s like we took Christ out in a lot of things, especially Christmas. Now is the time to put the Almighty god first in every thing we do and say.
Margaret Antoine
New York, USA

Crime in Trinidad and Tobago is largely attributed to the burgeoning drug trade and gang warfare. My twin island republic, with all its coastal surveillance and anti-drug measures has failed to really put a dent on drugs passing through the island. The drug trade brings with it a proliferation of illegal guns on the streets. And now that gangs are moving out of their traditional spots, crime is vastly spreading.
I would suggest that the authorities have a hand, by rubbing shoulders with 'community leaders', gang leaders if you ask me. How else would police know the major gang leaders and all the crimes, murders and kidnappings they are responsible for, yet they fail to arrest these gang leaders, even when they have evidence and eye witnesses?
The government's high dependency 'social programmes' that attract mainly rivalling gangs need to be reformed. They are largely known to be full of corruption, favouritism and nepotism. Gangs fight and kill over ownership of projects under these programmes.
The judicial and prison system need drastic reformation. The fact that state witnesses are killed on the orders of murder accused from behind bars, is alarming. State witnesses have stood before the courts in the final stages of trials and say they wish to discontinue giving evidence, because of death threats from within the prison. Corruption among the country's lawmen must also be a contributing factor.
Alisha Nurse
Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago

We need to bring back flogging and hanging for criminals. There is not enough jobs but that is not an excuse. We have to have leaders that teach young people the value of life. These young men do not have any hope so the do not care. A life means nothing to them. We do not have adults who teach these kids the right values. Everyone wants the easy way out: how can we become rich without working for it and the songs e.g "Get rich or die trying".
Lance Walcott
Georgetown, Guyana

You can control how the youth will turn out to be at school and at home. A parent, whether a single mother or not should have goals for their child, the school systems should also have goals. Polytechnics or middle colleges need to absorb youth who cannot get jobs immediately and those who cannot go to universities. Students should be guided by their career counsellors to enlist for such colleges early in their final year. To help those that are currently unemployed, Caribbean countries should invite investors to establish light industries such as food processing plants to absorb those who do not like academics.
For those prone to crime, inner city experts, should be invited to re-train such youth. Women need to have skills that enable them to have one job that keeps him longer at home.
Divisive politics cause youth to be disillusioned. Leaders should co-exist and respect each others' political affiliation.
Pauline Ngunjiri
Basseterre, St. Kitts and Nevis

As a Jamaican I think one of our main problem for the high crime rate is the break down of the family structure in Jamaica, and greed. There are just too many children that are without fathers. There are a great many Jamaican women that have six or seven children and no means of support for these children, leaving them to fend for themselves from a very young age usually resulting in stealing to survive. These children almost never go to school. Therefore with no education crime is usually the answer from an early age.
Gerald Peddie
Brooklyn, USA

The fundamental problem may be materialism. Even in relatively rich countries the crime rate is high because young people are not prepared to wait too long or to work their way up the ladder. They want it now!
The societies cannot create jobs that give the instant gratification needed by young people. Furthermore the young people are showing a level of self interest that us older folks find shocking when we look back on our own sacrifice.
I think some kind of moral/spiritual re-armament (I know there was an organization that used this approach unsuccessfully years ago) but some of the other approaches: hanging, create employment, blame colonialism, blame BET, provide better education, are no more than treating the symptom without addressing the disease.
Toronto, Canada

As a St Lucian living in Antigua who has also lived in Barbados, I see the cause as follows:
1) corruption of both the police and politicans
2) high unemployment and lack of opportunities for young people
3) lack of strong Caribbean men who are standing up and making a contribution
4) influence of BET, rap and that prison culture

1) invest more money in vocational education from age 10 so everyone by 18 will have a skill
2) reduce the number of all inclusives and gated communities that make people feel marginalized
3) have more green public spaces and community centres for young people
4) have a regional police force that rotates police officers from country to country
St. John's, Antigua

Unemployment is the major cause of crime in Jamaica today. Get young men into work or national service and off the road, also get rid of corrupted law officers.
Calbert McLean
Clarendon, Jamaica

One of your readers has correctly stated we have only touched the surface of this story. Today we have a generation of abandoned children. A woman has 5 children with 5 different men; kids don’t know what it is to grow up in a home where values are taught; .where is the father? Or should I say who is the father? No wonder the only alternative is crime, We must hold the men and women to a higher standard. Secondly the type of music only promotes sex and violence, Every month there is a carnival - when it is not Notting Hill, Miami, Brooklyn, Toronto, all the islands of the Caribbean, with the accompanying fights and murders. Maybe the Economist article will stir our nation to self examination

I am originally from Trinidad where the reasons for the soaring crime rate are myriad. In the first instance we have never heard from either of the two main political parties PNM AND UNC, what were their connections to the Jamaat Al Muslimeen an organisation which held that country to ransom in 1990 in an attempted coup, following which 114 of its members were pardoned. Several of them were later found to be involved in criminal activity including drugs and gun running yet the highly controversial unemployment relief programme was being run by senior officials of that organisation. I might add many of them have since died violent deaths. Another reason is the repatriation of individuals who have committed crimes in countries such as the US then repatriated to the twin island republic where they hold sway over young males who are easily influenced into getting quick money through criminal activity.
One only has to look at who are the leaders of the gangs terrorising the country.
There is also the doing away with corporal punishment in the island's schools so students are no longer made to "feel" the consequences of their actions resulting in them developing an attitude of being able to do whatever they feel without fear of being brought to book.
All of this combined with corruption in the protective services and no rehabilitation within the prisons system have resulted in the land of the scarlet ibis and the cocrico becoming a hotbed of criminal activity.
Security has become one of the biggest industries in Trinidad and Tobago, one needs only look at the amount of surveillance cameras, burglar proofing and automatic gates which have now become standard requirements at the homes of private citizens. it's as if the words of a Calypsonian from some years ago are now ringing true, with the people living in jail and the criminals living free.
Gary Moreno
Hamilton, Bermuda

To solve this find a piece of land in the Antarctica and shipped them all there and let them learn to survive - just as the British did to the Australians.
Vastina Williams
Catford, London

Europe and America eradicate these crime or most of it by hanging the criminals and having a death penalty on most of these crimes. if you were a horse thief you were HUNG. If you kill another human being then you should be executed according to the law. This helps the economy in two ways, you stop the criminal from influencing other criminal element and the tax payers do not have to pay to keep these elements of criminal intent to prosper in our community.
I say be CIVIL or do the DRILL.
El Paso, United States

Of course we are concentrating on the symptoms while giving the Nelson's eye to the disease. The escalation of crime in Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana is a product of limited opportunities for males in those societies to grow into economic independence and self sufficiency. The politicians when they get into office are too busy getting paid to do the hard work of transforming their nations into zones of opportunity for their peoples.
Sandy Springs, USA

Listen to me, crimes are usually borne out of envy. You see something the other man has. You want it; you take it - by any means necessary. I think the Economist’s article only hit the surface of this story. To effectively defeat an enemy, you must know your enemy. Befriend it so to speak. In the Bahamas I have personally seen what leads up to those said crimes: a materialistic need. Yes, the Bahamas is very prosperous, but there are still vast differences in levels of wealth from family to family. Just like there is in any place in the world.
So in this case here are your solutions. You must, after careful intelligence into the cause, strike fear in the public as a whole. How, you ask?
In the case of the Bahamas you must do the following.
1) An extensive CCTV network like that of London must be place throughout the city, especially in those hotspots.
2) Build a new medium to maximum security facility on one of the more remote islands for all violent offenders.
3) Enact a ten year ban on all fire arms for civilians. Anyone violating this law will be fined twenty five thousand. A lien on their property is optional.
4) Harsher penalties for violent murderers,with optional mind reconditioning programmes.
All for now!
Ohio, USA

We need to address the erosion of values by the young in our population. Short term wise, we need to get a hold on the trade in drugs and arms. Long term, we need to educate our people. Educated people make informed decisions. Education also helps people to arise out of the impoverished way of thinking.
Andrea Richards
Kingston, Jamaica

Specifically to Trinidad and Tobago, crime is on the rise due to a rise in materialism. People want the 'nice' things by any means necessary. It’s like a law of nature that there must always be balance: there shouldn’t be a group of elite rich and in the same area a group of poor. It seems that crime is a way of trying to balance the scale.
Trinidad and Tobago

Why are we trying to treat the symptoms and not the disease? We speak of harsher punishment, what about better education for the people, has no one seen the correlation between the countries with the higher rates of national advanced education and their low crime rates and the countries with the higher rate of illiteracy and their high crime rate? I don't want to carry on too long but most of the crimes are being perpetuated by young, usually not very well educated males. Why are we not addressing this issue?
Jack Kingston

The 'fear' for God and those in authority has been eroded from our societies, and I believe that families, the Church and schools have a lot of the responsibility to share in this breakdown. Some parents have failed in the proper upbringing of our youth.
More time should be spent with the education of our youth, some have passed through the system and are still unable to read or write, and this ignorance causes frustration and it results in the lashing out on society in this crime wave.

The United Nations is a useless organization and the World Bank is the modern form of Slave-Ships. These two organizations are two of the greatest ills know to mankind today and directly linked to the crimes in our beloved Caribbean. On one hand they claim to be agents for good and betterment of societies, on the other they are agents of the devils wrapped in British and American flags with guns and bombs. The United Nations must put an end to Empire building and leave "free" people to seek their own destiny. The World Bank must release the hold it has on lesser nations financially. However, nations of the Global South, for us the Caribbean Islands, must stand up and let their voices be heard. These gun slinging youths will see a future as long as there is one, the one they are currently seeing is blank. Education and societal differences must be addressed. From Jamaica to Trinidad we must stand up and say, who are we? Are we out of many one, or something else? I truly believe that these problems will be solved soon but the underlay needs to be solved also.
Ed Ezenoah
Atlanta, United States

The so called first world nations (& UN, World Bank, etc) ought to give the Caribbean (& Africa) breathing space to evolve. All the developed nations got there without foreign intervention – there, institutions evolved. In the Caribbean we must retain so called primitive punishments (hanging) until our people (& society) have achieved a level where there is much respect for lives (&private property). We can only get there through experiences.
Ja Mayro
Mayaro, Trinidad

The UN needs to clean up their own back yard before they clean others.
Robert Jennings
St.Thomas, V.I.

As a Jamaican, who left the island 30 years ago and returns to visit regularly, I find the increase in crime abhorrent. Noted are opinions that encourage tougher laws and prosecution. No one has mentioned the importance of education, employment, and increased pay for those that remain in the islands. What hope is left for the poor and destitute when they see no other viable options in life? Increased policing, oversight, are options, but are ineffective without gains for common man.
New York, USA

I can only speak of Barbados, but other islands are likely similar. My own personal experience is the general crime I have encountered is "crime of opportunity": A handbag left unattended on or near a beach is a common target. A more brazen (and unfortunately very successful) theft took place in an apartment one night. The thief climbed a tree into the apartment bedroom. He emptied a wallet, carefully replaced it into the pants, folded them neatly, and placed them back on the bed. The robbed tourist was completely unaware until next day when he went to pay for an item. One cannot help but think of how carefully the thief took care of the clothing.

In another case a drug dealer plied his trade in conjunction with a guard at a beach hotel! The guard "advises" the would-be buyer where he or she can fulfil their "bad habit". The dealer showed up like clockwork on his motor bike at almost the same time and place every single day, with his merchandise. All this within a stones throw of a police station.

Being an international destination, the island harbours other interests as well. Occasionally, a longboat powered by 3 highly modified outboard engines will zip up from a nearby island and drop ship a cargo of ganja (Marijuana). The boat can be made locally, but a 200Hp engine cannot, and there cannot be that many facilities with the tooling to modify them. They engines have to be imported. We have some modern day Pirates of the Caribbean making a lot of illicit money either under the noses or with the protection of the authorities.
No name given

The cause of crime is as a result of the breakdown in values and proper parenting. Too many parents raise their children in a very selfish manner, causing a breakdown in community togetherness, and eventually a breakdown in respect for each other; and also no respect for property and lives
Steve Sylvester
St,John's, Antigua

We get rewards or penalized for fighting, or not doing enough to fight drugs going to America from our shores, yet there is no consideration for the guns coming from the USA to our shores. Guns are the biggest factor in most violent crime in the Caribbean, and we all know guns don't swim. The solution? Beats me, but a good start could be to levy a fine against the customs departments and the respective governments of any country that these guns come from, and take them to the U.N. for human rights violations.
red rum
Stockholm, Sweden

Crime is the product of a society. So you could have the best trained police officers, even Scotland Yard, but as long as their are social ills within your country, then crime will go on. Bob Marley said it best. If the youths are given better opportunities in life then maybe they would turn to something else other crime. Like for instance if you have a basic man’s pay, and apply for a US visa, you will get turned down, but if you want to join their army and pick up arms and be trained to be a killer then you can become a citizen - what kind of message is the international community sending? They are the ones who had raped us for many years of our resources and left us to fight for our own.
St. Vincent

Let’s see; we need to eliminate CORRUPT law enforcements officials. I am a returning resident since 2006, and it’s horrifying what I see in Jamaica today. The elimination of CORRUPTION AMONGST THE HIGHEST OFFICIALS should be a big priority for our new government. Jamaica's motto should be "See no Evil, Hear no Evil"!!!!!
Kingston, Jamaica

Caribbean governments are so busy running after the tourism dollars, that they are forgetting why tourists came there in the first place; "to relax, take it easy- with peace and quiet". The governments need an audit of all their security procedures and proceed accordingly.
Gee Mann
Portsmouth, Dominica

This has been a growing problem for us all, credit but be paid to the Economist for turning heads to this great human problem. As a Jamaican, I have seen my country went from bad to worst in fromt my eyes. I have seen a strong culture raped and weaken itself knowingly; this is sad. However, as a member of this culture I am also to be blamed, we are all to be blamed. The Caribbean must act now to curb this sore on such a lovely part of our world. The police must get better training, the people in elected office must get better training also and the public has a part to play also; report crimes. This is a problem we can solve with help from those above us, the U.S and Europe. Poverty must be addressed and education must be addressed. However, with what we know now, it is time to act!
Atlanta, USA

Hooray to the Economist! This is just the sort of publicity that the governments don't want. Should we dare hope that the shame of it will prompt them to action? Will they look to revolutionise the way they train police, carry out investigations, try criminals and handle the drug situation? Will they seriously try to stamp out the corruption in the police forces? Or will they just whine and say they're "trying" and that the situation isn't as bad as people make it sound?
Kingstown, St. Vincent and the Grenadines

The justice system in the Caribbean is too slow. Cases take forever to get to court, hence most charges are dismissed by then or complainants aren't interested anymore.
Also in these small states, only the poor and indigent get sent to prison. The system is skewed against the small person. The rich and mighty never goes to court. My advice is to keep out of trouble and stay away from the law courts.
Carl Sealy
Belleplaine, Barbados

Build more prisons, longer sentences for violent offenders, boot camp for teenagers, crack down on gangs and finaly capital punishment for those convicted of murder.
Kelvin Browne
London, UK

The Customs officers at air and seaports must be be better TRAINED, regulated, supervised and punished for flagrant violation of the rules pertaining to their duty. 90% of these arms come through our boarders on sombody's watch. On the other side of the coin the governments need to recognize that Customs officers are the first line of defence against terrorism and crime and therefore should hire the best people and pay them decent wages so as to deter the temptation of bribery.

Crime levels in the region will not abate so long as national security continues to be treated by political parties as a "football" and by citizens as a concern only for the police and Governments. Crime flourishes in a climate of complicity when family and community members knowingly protect those who commit crime and enjoy the fruits of their labours.

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