THE EDITOR: In 2002, the murder rate in TT stood at 171 and has skyrocketed in 2008 where for the first time, the country crossed the 500 landmark for murders. Since then, there has been some decrease in murders to date but not significant enough to create the “free from fear” lifestyle that we once knew before.
We have reached the era where going out to “lime” in the night required judicious thoughts and severe contemplation before we proceed. We now also want security cameras on everything from our homes to our cars and even to mobile devices for fear of our lives.
The right to liberty has been severely compromised in TT because the only people who seem to have an absolute right to liberty are the bandits.
Is this fair? No!
Parents suffer sleepless nights when their children go out at night (and in recent times even in the daytime). This is the general pain law-abiding citizens suffer each day.
This is a result of the low detection rate and citizens desisting from giving evidence on criminal activities for the fear of harm to themselves and their families.
Is this fair? No!
The Bail Amendment Bill that passed in Parliament this week and in the Senate is one of the greatest achievements for our country in that criminals once convicted of an offence will be refused bail for 120 days. If the prosecution starts his case, then he will remain in jail for one year but can apply for bail if the case has not finished after one year has elapsed. If he has two convictions, and he is charged again he gets no bail.
This piece of legislation will definitely make the criminals have judicial thoughts about whether to commit a crime or not. Is this enough? No, but it is definitely a big step in the right direction.
Thank you Honourable AG for your key role in having this bill passed and thanks to all those who supported this measure.