Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, has defended the labeling of crime as a public health issue.
Speaking at the opening of the second day of the Regional Symposium: Violence as a Public Health Issue – The CARICOM Challenge, Prime Minister Gonsalves said other leaders made it clear that crime is a multifaceted matter requiring a total society approach but at this time the public health dimension is being highlighted.
“So to the extent that anyone conceives that there any tension between the public health approach and the command and control approach, for instance, there is nothing wrong if there are tensions. The question is this, how does one resolve those tensions?
“In any given situation there are inherent contradictions and tensions, there are not either/or. Indeed, if anyone maturely bridges questions under consideration in either/or terms, one misses the subtleties and the dialectical nature in the way one analyses and fashions solutions,” he said.
Prime Minister Gonsalves’ comments came on the heels of criticism from Kamla Persad-Bissessar, Trinidad and Tobago Opposition Leader, of crime being labeled a public health matter.
Persad-Bissessar told reporters at the opening of the conference that crime is not a public health issue, but she agrees it causes public health issues.