Society, including the media, has become immune to crime and violence at times, so much so that murders are no longer on the front pages of newspapers.
So said Chief Magistrate Marcia Ayers-Caesar yesterday, as she expressed concern about the spiralling crime rate.
She was speaking to members of the media after addressing the congregation at an International Women?s Week service at the Holy Trinity Cathedral, Port-of-Spain.
International Women?s Day will be recognised tomorrow under the theme ?Be Bold For Change.?
Saying the figures spoke for themselves, Ayers-Caesar said she was particularly worried by the fact that murder accused who appeared before her now were very young, in some instances less than 14.
Saying as a mother she was pained by this, she said, ?You have to put on this hard exterior, but every time I see a young man or a young woman before me for murder it breaks your heart, because I have young children and it touches me in that way.
?So I see it as a mother and it is very disheartening.?
Describing the crime situation as very troubling, she said every life lost was one too many.
?It is troubling because I live here and it places a certain amount of fear in you, but because we keep hearing two and three murders every day there are some of us who have become so insensitive to it,? Ayers-Caesar said.
?For example, look at the newspapers… We no longer put it on the front page. We just see a little number at the top to just remind us. It is not in our faces any more and maybe it should be in our faces.?
She said a lot of the crime and violence stemmed from the homes, adding that the products of society also came from the home.
She appealed to the gun-toting young men to put down the weapons and instead take up a ?holy book.?
?If the young men would put down the guns and take up the Bible, we would be in a much better place and parents also need to take responsibility, as a family that prays together stays together,? she said.
?We have just thrown out all these values and we need to bring them back.?
Regarding efforts by the various churches to hold nationwide prayer services in light of the upsurge in violence, she said while this was laudable churches also needed to reach out to the young population.
?The churches must take up the mantle and reach out.
© Jorge Plaza Marquez
© Jorge Marquez Plaza
Our churches are almost empty, so the church has to find a way to get its flock back in,? Ayers-Caesar said.