Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Well - I'm starting to think on the society in which I live... It's strange, because my life is so different to that of many others, it seems.

I found out yesterday that a friend of mine was mugged and had her handbag snatched in Tobago. Walking from Crown Point to Sandy Point. This is unbelievable - every year for the past 8 years we've safely walked those 3 blocks at all hours of the day or night during Angostura Sail Week. But- I've been mugged a lot in Trinidad in the past, but not Tobago.

Petty crime is on the rise in Tobago, apparently. What's strange is that to me, it feels safer to walk in Trinidad. Serious crimes are on the rise, murders, kidnappings, etc. But my handbag is safer, my house hasn't been broken into for 3 years (after a consistent yearly burglary for many years), I can walk to my car from a bar on Cipriani Boulevard without a security guard. So, my perception is that I feel safer. I guess this will last until I or someone I know gets kidnapped or murdered, and then I'd feel "Oh my Gawd! Crime is RAMPANT!"

Perception is everything. But Trinidad does feel safer. I leave my bag on the beach at Maracas and go to swim, and everything is there when I get back. This is my experience.

Tobago seems not to be publishing the crimes - especially against tourists. This is interesting. Trinidad crime is splashed over the front page. People have been suggesting the same to the Trinidad newspapers and media for YEARS. They haven't taken the suggestion. Is it that, in the Tourism world, if they don't publish it, it doesn't happen or doesn't exist and the tourists continue to come and are happy? Or will the tourists who are victims of crime tell their friends, who tell their friends, and so on and so on and so on (to quote the ad)
And then no-one comes. So...

When my friend's handbag was stolen, the police knew EXACTLY who to go look for. And they promptly removed the rubble on the road that he used to hide behind before jumping out at her. So why didn't they do something before?

Proactive policing sounds like an answer to me... regular police patrols, street lights, and very importantly - quicker justice system, so that people are not
1. On bail for years and years - continuing their job of crime
2. In remand for years and years - if they're innocent
And the witnesses remember what happened, and the evidence isn't lost, or degraded.

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