Trinidad and Tobago manufacturers call for end to country’s crime wave

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) The Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers’ Association (TTMA) has called on all stakeholders including non-government organisations to join in finding a solution to the high level of murders in the country, saying that it is also affecting the competitive nature of the oil-rich twin-island republic.

Last year, 407 people were murdered and so far this year, seven people have been killed in Trinidad, including a pastor.

“Four hundred murders for 2013 is 400 too many for our society. We need all stakeholders (government and non-government) on board to work toward resolving this very serious problem in order to move forward with our nation’s developmental goals,” the TTMA said in a statement.

It said crime was affecting everyone in society and warned that the cost of doing business was becoming even greater due to high security costs, as well as employees’ inability to work night shifts out of fear for safety.

“These costs act as a disincentive to investors, and affect the country’s overall competitiveness. Crime and theft are cited as the main factors affecting business in Trinidad and Tobago according to the World Economic Forum’s 2013 Global Competitiveness Report,” the TTMA said.

The TTMA called for stakeholders to conscientiously work together toward resolving the problem in a meaningful, sustainable and impactful manner.

“Issues of protection of our borders and scanners at the port should be fast tracked. Trinidad and Tobago has a plethora of legislation in place to deal with crime at all levels; however there is a deficiency in enforcement, detection and conviction. Measures need to be put in place to deal with these short-comings.

“The TTMA appreciates that a safe and secure environment is one that leads to increased productivity and thus is prepared to work with the Minister of National Security, the government and all stakeholders to engage this process,” the Association said.

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