Crime in Trinidad and Tobago

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Criminal activity in Trinidad and Tobago has been and still is a controversial topic on the two islands. Gang Murders and murders rose every year from 1999 to 2008. Approximately 529 people were murdered in 2008, the highest number ever.

Port of Spain and its immediate environs have a higher crime rate than any other part of Trinidad. Homicides countrywide rose from fewer than 50 in the 1980s, to 97 in 1998, then to 360 in 2006 (30 murders per 100,000 persons). It rose to approximately 529 in 2008 but decreased in the following years.[1]

A common explanation is that the outbreak in murders is due to drug and gang related issues, especially in the depressed communities of East Port of Spain. Some researchers, while acknowledging the connections between gangs and violence in the area, argue that the role of illegal drugs has been overstated.[2]

The police administration has responded by improving the working conditions of officers, increasing the use of forensic evidence and surveillance technology (CCTV cameras) as well as hiring overseas experts.[3]

Reports of kidnappings for ransom which were on the rise a few years ago have declined dramatically since 2006.[4][5] However, theft and violent crimes remain prevalent to this date, while crime and the perception of crime continues to hamper the economic prospects of the city.[6][7]

Laventille has some of the highest crime rates in Trinidad and Tobago, with drugs, gangs, and murders being the main problem in this community.[citation needed]


  1. "Trinidad and Tobago Police Service website". Retrieved 2010-06-26.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Maguire, Willis, Gantley, and Snipes (2008). "Spatial Concentrations of Violence in Trinidad and Tobago"".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Trinidad and Tobago Police Service website Press Releases". Retrieved 2010-06-26. External link in |publisher= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Kidnappings for ransom down". May 13, 2011. Retrieved 2010-06-26. External link in |publisher= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Police Tackle Kidnappings". NPR. 17 August 2007. Retrieved 2010-06-26.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "We must get serious about combatting crime". Trinidad Express. June 24, 2011. Retrieved 2010-06-26.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "A Caribbean crime wave". The Economist. March 20, 2008. Retrieved 2010-06-26.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>