A shooting in Tunapuna this morning has pushed the murder toll to 501.
The Express was told that at about 10.15 a.m. persons in the vicinity of the Tunapuna Cemetery heard a series of gunshots.
Upon investigating, they found three persons lying on the ground in a pool of blood.
The police and paramedics were notified, however, two of the men died from their injuries.
The third remains warded in a critical condition at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex in Mt Hope.
This incident, along with the murder of 29-year-old Roger Charles in Chaguanas, has pushed the murder toll for 2022 up to 501.
Charles was fatally shot outside his home along Enterprise Street in Chaguanas at about 7.45 p.m. on Friday.
His killing is believed to be gang related.
In 2008, this country recorded 550 murders, the highest. The second highest number of murders, to date, was recorded in 2019 with 539 murders.
Earlier this month, the Sunday Express reported that 2022 may end with 585 murders, the highest number of reported murders in the history of Trinidad and Tobago, if measures were not taken to address the increase in crime rates.
This forecast was based on trend analysis and computer model projections by Dr Randy Seepersad, based on statistics acquired from the TTPS Crime and Problem Analysis Branch (CAPA) for 1990 to 2019 to predict values up to 2030.
Coordinator of the Criminology Unit at The University of the West Indies, Dr Randy Seepersad, told the Sunday Express in an interview that as the year is winding down, the forecasts appear to be holding true.
The forecast is that 2022 may end with 585 murders if immediate action is not taken.
The upper limits of this year’s forecast go as high as 763 deaths, with the lower limits being 407 deaths.
“Even as the year winds down, the numbers appear to be holding true to the data, within the acceptable margins. We’ve already crossed the lower limit. And for now, all that is left is to see how far it goes. The projections still stand and I don’t see anything which will cause us to deviate from it as yet,” Dr Seepersad said.
He noted that gang violence continued to be a serious contributor to murders in this country, and when asked what could combat this, he suggested that there needed to be more investments in social programmes for at-risk communities, especially ones targeting youths.
“Gang violence remains a serious issue the country needs to tackle. And the best way to combat this is not necessarily more police, but rather through social programmes. There are proven models out there which show that investments in communities and in young people work. Pastor Gary Grant for instance is doing excellent work with a proven model. The problem is sustainability. I can tell you one of the last main projects we had, from the moment the international funding ran out, the project stopped. The advancements that the project would have made brought to a standstill. So, this is our pressing problem right now. We need investments from the State and from private enterprises. Successive governments have failed to invest properly in programmes, which are imperially proven to be effective, for whatever reason. So many of these programmes once initiated, tend to fall flat once the foreign funding is exhausted. So, it’s not being sustained locally. If we want to fix our country, we have to do the work, we have to invest in ourselves, and enact preventative measures, not just reactive ones. Cause the latter can only take us so far, and will not get to the grassroots of the problem and treat with the communities and families that need help,” Dr Seepersad explained.
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