A Government senator was emotional today as she recalled her experience being the victim of a gun-related crime.
Speaking during the Bail (Amendment) Bill 2019 debate in the Upper House Senator Dr Crystal Haynes gave a touching account of a criminal act against her while studying in Trinidad.
“I was the victim of an armed robbery when I was a student in Trinidad and that fear is something that changes you. It is something that you carry throughout your life. It just hurts me to see the place where we are at today. It hurts me to know that it has taken this for us to get here…”
Referring specifically to the recent brazen act of violence where a man was shot at Sheraton Mall, the senator said when she heard the news she could only imagine the fear felt by those who were present.
“That murder that sent shockwaves from Sargeant’s Village, Christ Church to St Lucy. I saw a video where a former president of this senate was assembled with a group of visually impaired persons with the intention of encouraging other members of the visually impaired community to be bold, be brave, get out Sheraton is a safe place. Then it turned into a frightful scene that can only be compared to an act of terror.”
While throwing her full support behind the Bill, Haynes lamented that criminal acts where no longer confined to certain districts.
“Once upon a time we would have liked to believe that crime would have been concentrated in specific enclaves: in Crab Hill and Silver Hill… That anyone in the food court that day, any member of Ms Ifill’s delegation could have become a victim is something that pains me.”
The senator, whose voice was inaudible at times as she was extremely emotional during her presentation, said tough decisions have to be made in order to address the ‘crisis’.
“If a toe has an infection and you don’t treat it the whole body can develop sepsis and the person dies that is why we are here today doing what we can in our roles as legislators to do something to stem what has become a crisis. Even more worrying is that when we see the face of the perpetrators of these acts they are children, our nation’s children.
The doctor by profession said the entire country must take responsibility for the current situation.
“During my time as a medical student I delivered ten babies and I have never seen a Barbadian mother give birth to a monster. None of these young men became that way overnight. Whatever deprivation they face at home, whatever abuse they faced at home, we, not just their immediate families, we the wider community failed to respond to their cries.
Haynes continued: “Now we are facing a situation where they fear no God, they fear no man. They don’t fear the police and they are convinced that if they do the crime at 17 that they could be back out before their 30th birthday.”