CRIMINOLOGY lecturer and writer Wendell Wallace says the justice system on this nation has to adapt and make adjustments, significantly by way of laws, to fulfil its mandate with a purpose to cope with the ever rising scourge of gun violence.
The institution of gun courts, denying bail for these charged with gun offences, and implementing a “three-strike” rule through laws, he urged, are among the many quite a few tangible options.
Wallace, a lecturer within the Criminology and Prison Justice Unit on the College of the West Indies (UWI) St Augustine Campus, was talking at a discussion board not too long ago hosted by the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Financial Research on the subject of gun-related violence and murder in Caribbean societies, which supplied professional insights into knowledge and mirrored on potential motion to enhance the worsening statistics.
“What can we do? As a result of we do not solely need to spotlight these issues? We wish that we search for some options.”
He stated the the justice system “can do rather a lot.”
Wallace stated a multifaceted, evidence-based method to is required to deal with the complicated drawback of gun violence and the justice system.
He highlighted knowledge exhibiting that between 2010-2016, there have been 2,212 victims of murder by firearms, 95 per cent of them being male. He stated that is comparable with Jamaica the place roughly 90 per cent of the victims are male.
Not too long ago, appearing Commissioner of Police McDonald Jacob introduced that 7,000 weapons had been recovered by police during the last ten years.
On Saturday, the police issued one other assertion saying the variety of weapons seized for the yr had crossed 500.
Jacob additionally famous that 87 per cent of all murders in TT over the previous decade have been dedicated utilizing weapons.
These statistics are significantly noteworthy, he stated, since no English-speaking nation within the Caribbean manufactures firearms. Most are believed to be imported from the US and Brazil and slip by way of the borders.
“That begs the query,” he stated. “Are we affected by a gun-violence disaster because it pertains to TT?”
Wallace famous the drastic enhance of weapons being utilized in homicides across the yr 2000.
He highlighted the statistics from 2010-2016, exhibiting the Port of Spain Police Division main the 9 divisions with 593 murders involving weapons, adopted by the Northern Police Division with 463 and the Western Police Division in third with 260 murders.
The Tobago Police Division noticed the least variety of murders involving weapons, totalling 13 for the seven-year interval.
As Wallace, famous, nonetheless, Tobago skilled three murders involving firearms in solely three days, final month.
“If we have been to make use of some conjecture right here, we are going to counsel that the numbers for the Tobago Police Division will definitely enhance.
He spoke additional on potential methods the justice system can deal with gun-related violence.
Wallace famous that Jacob expressed remorse about TT’s gun tradition, and former Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith’s suggestion that these charged with gun possession not be allowed bail.
Griffith additionally referred to as for the court docket to extend penalties for firearm offences.
“We’d like a multifaceted method; a uni-dimensional method won’t work. And the justice system can both use a prevention method or an intervention method or a mix of each.”
Amongst Wallace’s options supplied included gun amnesties, which he admitted “have a tendency to not work for criminals (as a result of) that is their software of commerce.”
Establishing gun courts is one other potential half resolution.
“The analysis has proven that this tends to work in that you’ll be able to course of these criminals quicker.
“We should even have enhanced reporting mechanisms and safety for witnesses in gun-related crimes,” Wallace stated.
“We are able to use focus deterrents. We are able to use outreach actions, public schooling campaigns. We are able to additionally use intervention methods.
“We have to use some consciousness campaigns so that each one juveniles and others can pay attention to the hazards of utilizing fireplace.”