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The University of the West Indies

FOUN 1101
ASSIGNMENT 3 – Critical Thinking Essay and Oral

STUDENT’S NAME: Maariyah Maleehah Baksh


TUTOR: Mr. Aakeil Murray

GROUP MEMBERS: Isa Abrahim, Malik Sobers, Kajol Chinchamee

TITLE OF ESSAY: Crime in the Caribbean

ESSAY SUBMITTED BY: Maariyah Maleehah Baksh

ORAL PRESENTATION DATE (or link to access video):
Undergraduate Coursework Accountability Statement (To be completed by student)


COURSE CODE: FOUN 1101 TITLE: Caribbean Civilisation

NAME: ________Maariyah Baksh____________ ID: ________816006907_____________

1. I hereby certify that I am the author of the attached item of coursework and that all
materials from reference sources have been properly acknowledged.

2. I understand what plagiarism is and what penalties may be imposed on students found
guilty of plagiarism.

3. I certify that this paper contains no plagiarized material.

4. I certify that this is my own work and that I did not receive any unfair assistance from
others (including unauthorized collaboration) in its preparation.

5. I certify that this paper has not previously been submitted either in its entirety or in part
within the UWI system or to any other educational institution.

6. In the case of group work:

a. I certify that the individual work of each member of the group has been clearly
b. that where no such indication has been given, I take the responsibility for the
work as if it were the section of the paper for which I am solely responsible; and
c. that I have not collaborated with any members of the group to breach the
University’s regulations.

Signature: Maariyah M Baksh

Date: ___29-11-18_________________________________


Crime is defined as any action that breaches the laws of a society such as homicide,

assault and arson just to name a few. Though, not to be confused with deviance, which is

behaviour that breaches the norms and values of society such as vandalism. In recent years crime

in the Caribbean has been on the rise especially in Trinidad and Jamaica, with regards to violent

crimes. This not only takes a toll on the society of these islands but also on the economy of these

places. As a result of high levels of crime in the Caribbean, many Caribbean people has lost faith

in the government and judicial system. Moreover, this promotes a culture of fear in a society

where people are scared to leave their homes and walk the streets. Because of this, development

in the Caribbean region is decelerating. To resolve this problem, we must first look at where

crime stemmed from in the Caribbean and how it affects the region and societies of the

Caribbean, if there is to be hope of progression.

Moreover, Crime has escalated drastically over the past few decades and as a result there

has been a surge of murders, guns and drugs in the Caribbean. Holistically the Caribbean was

periodically ruled under colonialism, slavery and indentureship, which in that era there still

lingered a grand level of violence and mortality nearing the end of the 19th century. A culture of

violence had become imbedded within the Caribbean colonies and consequently transformed into

an implosive and self-perpetuating force that conditions contemporary human social interaction.

Moreover, in the early 1980’s crime rose due to the sharp contraction of the economy. Crime at

that time was an outcome of the economic depression which resulted in many being unemployed
persons, who were driven to poverty, to commit such activities. It remained steady till the dawn

of the 21st century, where vast violence surfaced and yet again became a pressing issue for their

intensity and horrific natures that were grand, thus resulted in CARICOM (Caribbean

Community and Common Market) setting up a regional task force in 2001.

Today the Caribbean is considered one of the most violent regions in the world and its

rate on crime has increased exponentially becoming even more gruesome and violent. It spears

no one, not even women and children, as a result in creates a mental block and a state of panic

upon society. For example, a certain place in the 90s would no longer be safe in the 2000s given

the rise in crime as a result people, especially parents who would prompt their children not to

visit such places in fear of them falling victim to crime. In today’s world crime feels like an

infinite cycle that will forever stain the world. The rise in crime heavily impacts the development

in countries by scaring away tourist and investors and consequently losing foreign exchange and

innovation leaving the country in the third world status. Now there is a piercing sense of

paranoid within the society and many often take protective measures into their own hands

resorting to illegal fire arms and weapons, hence the cycle is sustained.

Additionally, Crime rates have significantly increased, victims of these crimes have

become differentiated, from locals to locals and tourists and the justice system which holds the

authority to control all these crimes has lost their power and ability to protect the region leaving

the citizens in a state of complete turmoil and constant fear for their lives. Living in the

Caribbean enables us to pinpoint possible reasons as to why crime is suddenly spiralling out of

control. It may be due to the downfall of the Caribbean economy forcing some of our people to

turn to criminal activities to survive as a result of unemployment or poverty concerns or simply

the lack of knowledge and helplessness of some to distinguish between right and wrong,

consequently pursuing the wrong path of life.

To this date, there are five Caribbean countries recorded in the top ten of the crime rate

index listing. Nothing impressive to talk about but rather a cause for concern and implementation

and enforcement of improved safety measures. The Caribbean, for many has been the ideal

tourist destination, mainly for relaxation purposes. However, this image of the Caribbean is now

tarnished for tourists and locals as well. Foreigners who intend to grasp our shores in hopes of

being worry free and get away from their usual hustle and bustle now have to keep an eye and

ear out and constantly look over their shoulders because it is no longer safe even for them. A

Japanese national who adored Trinbagonian culture and took a liking to the national instrument,

the steelpan, unfortunately met her death during what some consider to be, the Greatest Show on

Earth, Carnival. This impacted economic development in the twin island. Asami Nagakiya’s

death struck cords of terror in the Caribbean specifically Trinidad and Tobago and

internationally. News surrounding crime against tourists is not an unlikely ordeal, however,

whilst ten years ago it one can discuss one incident or attack for two years, there is now new and

numerous tourist attacks that have our attention every day.

Aside from these crimes increasingly navigating towards foreigners, some may say that

the criminals are becoming even more ruthless. Crimes are now being committed in broad

daylight, criminals are walking the streets side by side with us and suddenly feel the need to

tamper with our sense of safety and openly commit their crimes against the innocent. Fear of

police or any National or Regional Protective Services seems absent in their minds. Instead, they

are ready and quick to call war upon them and pull a trigger if necessary. In an attempt to control

the crimes in the capital of Trinidad, Port-of-Spain, police confronted someone they believed to
be a part of a gang. In a fit a rage, the suspected, Akiel Thomas, fired a shot at the police. This

initiated an exchange of gunfire between police and Akiel and the latter was shot and succumbed

to the shots. Some saw it as justice served but some residents of the Beetham Gardens area felt it

was injustice. After the incident, relatives and acquaintances of the deceased made efforts to

disrupt daily activities by blocking the Eastern Main Road, Priority Bus Route and the Churchill

Roosevelt Highway.

Moreover, crime has impacted Caribbean communities as well. A study by the

International American Development Bank (IDB) shows that on average, 13 residents in five

Caribbean countries were victims of common crime over the past year of 2016. The study

showed, from a survey, that in Barbados, Jamaica, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago, five

crimes were focused; car theft, burglary assault and personal theft. The survey also indicated that

almost one in three persons that were surveyed, had lost someone close to them to violence.

Furthermore, the murder rates in Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, as well as the Bahamas, were

within a rate of over 30 homicides per 100, 000 citizens in 2013, which paralleled to the

frequency of common crime. Additionally, the report discloses sources that have contributed to

the violence in these Caribbean countries. One particular cause is the formation of gangs in

Caribbean communities. These gangs are greatly responsible for the crime and violence in the

Caribbean, as they carry out the common crimes which resulted in murder if the former doesn’t

achieve his goal.

Consequently, many communities in the Caribbean region are forming neighbourhood

watches to have a sense of security during the day and night. However, they are those

communities that don’t believe in neighbourhood watches, as they claim it’s not going to stop the

criminals. Additionally, many Caribbean electronic stores, as well as groceries are equipping
their shelves with security systems for the public. Thus, many Caribbean people are purchasing

these security systems to install in their homes, as they have lost faith in the police service. In

doing so, they feel a sense of security for themselves, and their children. Furthermore, many

Caribbean countries are implementing gated communities to help solve the feeling of insecurity

at their homes. However, this method has a downside as only the “upper-class” people are able to

afford these luxuries. Thus, there is a sense of resentment to the gated communities by others,

which results in common crimes. Another way, that Caribbean countries are attempting to put

back the sense of security in the communities, is by setting up hotlines, which are available 24/7

to the public, to report any crimes anonymously. In Trinidad and Tobago, one such hotline is;

Crime Stoppers.

In conclusion, crime in the Caribbean region has stemmed from the era of colonialism

and indentureship in the 18th-19th century, and has evolved exponentially over time in the 21st

century, making the Caribbean region unsafe to locals and tourists. Thus, Caribbean economy

continues to fall instead of rise, marking the Caribbean region as third world status. Furthermore,

communities in the Caribbean region are taking it upon themselves to safeguard their children

and loved ones, as they have lost faith in the government of their respective countries, as well as

their judicial system. To conclude, the Caribbean region must take crime in deep regards in order

to move forward from third world status to first world status.


“Asami Nagakiya's Murder Remains Unsolved. Japanese Visits to Carnival Lessen.” Radio Vision Ltd -
102.1FM, 1 Feb. 2018,

“Caribbean Has 'Violence Problem,' Not 'Crime Problem': Report.” InSight Crime, 20 Sept. 2017,

Doodnath, Alina. “Man Shot and Killed by Police in Beetham.” Home, 18 Sept. 2018,

Hunte, Maxine & Waldropt Bonair, Leigh-Ann. (2010). CRIME IN TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO:
TRENDS AND IMPLICATIONS. World Sustainable Development Outlook.

Each group member must complete this form. Assess your group members’
contributions by giving 1 one mark for each criteria they have met. If the member
did not meet the criteria give 0.



Contributed useful content to 1 1 1

the assignment
Helped the group stay on task 1 0 1

Contributed useful content in a 1 0 1

timely manner
Assisted meaningfully in the 1 1 1
preparation of oral presentation
Participated productively in 1 1 1
group discussions
TOTAL /5 5 3 5

Assessed by: Maariyah M Baksh