For much too long Trinidad has been a home to appalling murder rates, gang violence and mass illicit drug and weapon trading. These unlawful activities were starting to take a toll on the country’s economy, international reputation and law abiding citizens. During mid August 2011, the county lost seven persons in the space of 24 hours to murder, driving the murder toll to 263.These allegedly gang related homicides persuaded Prime Minister Kamla Persad- Bissessar to declare a limited state of emergency in the country with an accompanying curfew of 9pm – 5am in designated “hot spots” for fifteen days on the 21st August, 2011. The state of emergency was further extended until 5th December, 2011. The recent state of emergency in Trinidad (August 21st 2011- 5th December 2011) was chosen in relevance to Caribbean Studies because it was one of the most recent events that had a serious impact on the lives of the citizens. The financial and cultural inconveniences faced by my family during this state of emergency persuaded me to study this event. The researcher is under the opinion that the state of emergency was the government’s “quick fix” for the crime situation which had no long term worth to the country. It is intriguing that as soon as the curfew was lifted, criminal activities continued whilst the state of emergency continued. This implied that the cultural and financial inconveniences associated with the state of emergency had no value if crime were to continue as normal prior to the state of emergency. The purpose of this study is to access the practicality of state of emergency 2011 to the citizens of Trinidad and the criminal future of the county. This study conducted locally is an attempt to compare the experiences and views of a small cross- section of local businessmen and women with what is reported by economic experts and government officials in the local reports.
For this study, the researcher hopes to raise awareness on the effects of state of emergencies on the general public and to help others to critically assess other decisions made by their government and determine whether or not they are profitable to them on an individual and societal basis. These evaluations would make for a better educated, developed society. Also, the researcher hopes this study would be helpful to future students conducting research on a similar topic.
Was the state of emergency 21st August, 2011- 5th December, 2011 beneficial to the citizens of Trinidad?
How did the state of emergency impact on the culture of the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago? (2)
How did the state of emergency impact on the small local businesses of Trinidad and Tobago? (3)
How successful was the state of emergency in its efforts to crack down on crime?
The questionnaires were given only to persons who owned small businesses in order to research the impact of the state of emergency 2011 (August 21st- December 5th, 2011) on small businesses as well as culture and crime. Also, for the purpose of investigating at the immediate effect of the state of emergency on crime, criminal statistics from February 2011 and February 2012 were compared.
Definition of Terms
Illegal- forbidden by law.
Narcotics- any of a class of substances that blunt the senses. Culture- the ways of life of a people within a society.
Homicide- the killing of a human being by another.
Legislation- Law enacted by a legislative body
Act- A formal decision, law, or the like, by a legislature, ruler, court, or other authority. Curfew- an order establishing a specific time in the evening after which specific regulations apply, especially that no civilians or other specified group of unauthorized persons may be outdoors or that spaces of public assembly must be closed. Economy- the management of the resources of a country.
Bibliography: Anonymous. (2011, August 21st) Breaking news: State of emergency declared. Trinidad Express Newspapers. Retrieved January 15th, 2012 from, http://www.trinidadexpress.com/news/BREAKING-NEWS-State-of-Emergency-declared-128160123.html
Anonymous. (2012) Policed Service Serious Crime Statistics. Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Retrieved March 18th, 2012 from http://www.ttps.gov.tt/Statistics/tabid/141/Default.asp
Richards, P. (2011, September 5th) Trinidad: State of emergency in more ways than one. Global Issues. Retrieved January 15th, 2011 from, http://www.globalissues.org/news/2011/09/05/11066
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