Above: The audience at the launch event for the CSafe app download the software. Photo courtesy PLOTT.
Like many citizens across T&T, the Powerful Ladies of Trinidad and Tobago (PLOTT) are deeply disturbed by the escalating murder rate. “Each day we wake to another horrific story, what impact does this continue to have on the overall psyche of our society? What do we really understand about the contributors to, and overall impact of this dilemma?” These were questions raised in a recent release by the organisation, PLOTT indicated that “the ripple and catastrophic effect of this will be felt by many, for generations.”
PLOTT is suggesting a far more comprehensive approach to addressing crime. “What if we were to address the aggression and violence in our society as a contagious health disease? As we would an epidemic?”
Are we as a nation effectively tracking and reporting on crime? What do the statistics indicate?
PLOTT has been conducting detailed analysis of the spate of aggression and violence across T&T and noted the following as at November 30th in its monthly crime analysis:
“88.4% of all killings in this country have been by shooting and stabbing. Whereas men murdered by shooting represent about 75% of male cases, women are most often stabbed. Of the women murdered, 31% were by firearm and 43% were stabbed to death. More than one third of all murder victims were males of African descent, aged 16-35 years and killed by a firearm (35% of all victims). Most murder victims were males, that’s 88% and most victims were 26-35 years of age (33.8%).
More than half the murder victims (54.6%) were males between the ages of 16 to 35 years. Three quarters of ALL victims were killed by firearm (75.4%), the majority of which were Africans; 52% of all murder victims were of African descent and killed by a firearm. These murders most often occured in what many previously considered their safe zones, i.e. in or around the victim’s home.
Today, a typical incident of murder in Trinidad and Tobago occurs between 6 p.m. and 2 a.m. (38.7% of total victims for the year) and is no longer isolated to the traditional “hot spots”, the violence has spread across T&T, with the majority of murders now taking place around the East and North East of Trinidad (38.9% of victims) by perpetrators with presumed gang-related motives and the majority of these murders remain undetected, i.e. in spite of the fact that almost 80% of the victims were found and/or killed in the same municipality they resided in.
In November the highest number of murders were in the East/NorthEast divisions, this area represented almost half of all murders last month. Central Trinidad recorded the second highest number of murders.”
PLOTT continues to share details on these murders, domestic violence and other crimes against our young men, women and children. According to the release, PLOTT has been engaged in several development initiatives as they seek to: “create an environment of social responsibility; address the violence across our country, especially against our women and girls; develop champions for Trinidad and Tobago; ensure justice for our nation’s youth and nurture a sense of passion, pride and belonging – within our respective communities and across our great nation.”
As the issue of violent crime persists, PLOTT has engaged a number of strategic partners to assist with expanding their research, analysis and community outreach. In seeking to put a solution in the hands of all citizens of Trinidad and Tobago, the organisation has made Community Defence against crime a priority, indicating that “we need to provide Security Awareness for Everyone.” To do so, PLOTT has engaged the expertise of Mr. Darrin Carmichael, CEO of Community Defence Services Limited.
On Thursday December 22nd 2016, PLOTT in partnership with the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service and Community Defence Services Limited, introduced to the public, a free Mobile App developed by Community Defence to connect the National Community with the Police and other Emergency Services. PLOTT’s Crime Analysis and other helpful statistics, tips and guidelines with regard to safeguarding your community are also accessible via this app.
The new app allows Community Defence to quickly disseminate emergency alerts, and post news about missing or wanted persons, public safety notifications, and weekly crime reports. In the event of an emergency, app users receive instant notification via their mobile devices. Citizens can easily send comments and crime tips — anonymously if they wish — and place calls to Community Defence’s 24Hr hotline with the touch of a button.
You can also notify Policing Agencies about suspicious activity and log trouble reports with Public Utilities easily by uploading images through the app.
Anyone using Android, Windows or Apple platforms can download the app simply by going to the app store and searching for ‘Community Defence’. We encourage you to do so now.
Speaking at last week’s launch, Carmichael indicated that “The CSAFE app provides an easy-to-use method for two-way communication between a comprehensive program and the national community. It’s a valuable tool for keeping citizens safe”.
Gillian Wall, PLOTT’s Co-Founder and Chief PLOTTer indicated that the organisation has been in collaboration with the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service on the wider response plan. Ag. Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams was present at the launch to reinforce his support of the app and emphasized the need for a comprehensive and cohesive approach to addressing crime, he said the initiative was a “Dream come true.”
Partnerning with the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service on this app allows TTPS officials to post photos and images, bulletins, a calendar of events, and even conduct community surveys via the app. Wall stated that the app supports the commitment of everyone present to address the issue of crime.
News that is distributed through the app can also be set to automatically post on CSAFE’s social media accounts and distributed to the news media.
The CSAFE app is not meant to replace calling 999 for crimes and emergencies in progress. Those experiencing an emergency situation are encouraged to continue to call 999 for immediate assistance.
The CSAFE app was developed for Community Defence Services Lmited by USPDhub by LogicTree IT Solutions, Inc. of Citrus Heights, California, USA.