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Caribbean Studies 1A

Done By: Vanoi Wilkinson

TITLE OF STUDY: The Negative Impacts of Crime

on Teenagers

NAME: Vanoi Wilkinson

SCHOOL: St Augustine Girls High School




TERRITORY: Trinidad and Tobago

SUBJECT: Caribbean Studies


The successful completion of this assignment could not have been possible without the
assistance and cooperation of a number of people. Consequently, I will like to thank everyone
who gave their substantial support and valuable time.
The members of my family have been a constant source of encouragement and assistance. I
thank my guardians for relieving me from household duties, since I was engaged in this

Finally in completing this written assignment, I would like to acknowledge my teacher, Ms Ria
who assisted me where it was necessary to ensure that I had the underlying principals and hence,
the understanding to complete my assignment.




Literature Review......4

Data Collection Sources/ Methodology6

Presentation of Findings7
Interpretation of Findings..14
Discussion of Findings..16

General Topic of Interest: Crime and its effects

Problem Statement: What are the negative impacts of crime on residents in the district of
Laventille within the past 10 years (2004-2014)?

Rationale: In Trinidad the crime rate has increased in the past ten years. This high crime rate has
observed that in most developing countries there is an elevated crime level. It has even
stimulated major concerns both locally and internationally. Crime carries with it a lot of adverse

effects such as the breakup of families, lost of relatives and lead to many financial issues which
is felt by multiple citizens whether they are elders or teenagers, and so government and law
enforcement agencies need to implement measures to eradicate this inferno, especially in the
major crime capital of Laventille, a hilly area bordering the east side of Port-Of-Spain, Trinidads
capital city. Thus far the authorities cannot seem to find such a solution.
Purpose and Educational Value: This topic in particular has captured my personal interest.
Firstly, I was directly impacted by criminal activities where a family member was arrested in my
presence for the possession of drug narcotics. Secondly, a teenage neighbour of mine was
murdered for gang related issues last year. The educational value of this study is that since it is a
common notion for people to view poverty or other forms of deprivation as the major cause of
crime, however, it is not. In addition I would be analyzing both the facts and opinions related to
that issue in search of the most realistic source of crime in the Caribbean. As a result, I have
decided to conduct a study on the effects of crime on Caribbean society. This study will be done

reference to the suburban region of Laventille which lie east to the capital Port Of Spain

Trinidad from a Trinidadians point of view since I am of the same nationality. I hope that the
information presented would contribute to my countrys understanding of the effects of crime
and that my recommendations would be used to help curb this social unrest.

Research Objectives:
1. What are the cause of crime in Laventille?
2. What are the negative long term effects of crime on the residents of Lanventille?
3. What are some suggestions that can be implemented in the Laventille area to solve the
issue of crime?

Definition of Technical Terms

Adverse- acting against or in a contrary direction.

Blue-collar Crime- In criminology, blue-collar crime is any crime committed by an individual
from a lower social class
Climatologist- It is an area of sociology that focuses on the study of crimes and their causes,
effects and social impact.
Crime- An action prohibited by law or a failure to act as required by law.
Criminal- involving or having the nature of crime.

Disorganization-Social disorganization is defined as an inability of community members to

achieve shared values or to solve jointly experienced problem
Effects- A change or changed state occurring as a direct result of action somebody or something
Narcotics- The term narcotic originally referred to any psychoactive compound with any sleepinducing properties.
Poverty- refers to a living condition in which there is an inability to afford/ access basic goods
and services.
Profusion- a large quantity of something
Sociologist- A sociologist is a scientist who researches the effects of culture and civilization on
people and their behaviour.
Trinbagonian- Trinbagonian people are citizen or resident of the Republic of Trinidad and
Tobago whose ethnic origins lie fully or partially in the Eastern Caribbean
White-collar Crime-White-collar crime refers to financially motivated nonviolent crime
committed by business and government professionals

Literature Review

According to Caribbean Human Development Report on Citizens , 2011 poster competition

stated that one of the major causes of crime is the systematic and organized traffic of illegal
narcotic drugs. Additionally this illegal drug trade influences local drug use, gang violence,
prostitution and many other types of crime. Associated with these criminal activities are the
negative effects of social disequilibrium within a society. Criminal activities lead to other
negative effects such as increased involvement of youths being victims of crime. Also crime
leads to domestic and sexual violence which is prominent to women in Trinidad and Tobago.

In the Caricom Crime and Security Strategy (2013) it was noted that the effects of criminal
activities include illicit drugs which leads to illegal guns, gangs and organized crime. In
addition criminality levels has the potential to cripple the already fragile social economic
development progress regionally. This article further states hat criminal activities also lead to
large economic disparities, poverty, the rising cost of living, social exclusion and
marginalization, unemployment and multiple government failures. Lastly gun violence leads to
70% of homicide regionally.
In another case study entitled, The Stem of Criminal Behaviour from Social Environmental
Factors, Placing Constraints on Our Childrens Future Success, released on Friday, October
22nd, 2010, by Marian Wright Edelman, President and Founder of the Childrens Defense Fund,
implied that there is a battle going on everyday that is unseen by many. This battle is between at
risk youths and the social environmental factors that promote criminality. It was noted that
disorganization within a community such as Laventille, consist of high crime rates, low income
families, poor parenting, low levels of education, and a lack of positive community involvement.
However, in such an environment teens and growing children are susceptible to either joining a
life of crime or becoming hurt by criminal activities, from losing a close relative, friend or even
their homes sole breadwinner, in addition these youngsters can even suffer injuries or deaths
from rivalry in communities, gunplay and fights. This situation has reached the point where this
list of effects may be considered endless.

In the document entitled No Time To Quit: Engaging Youth at Risk Executive Report of the
Committee on Young Males and Crime in Trinidad and Tobago (2013) especially focuses on the
community of Laventille. According to this document Laventille is considered a hotspot. In this
community a negative impact of crime is that young women are drawn into a life of crime by
their male counterparts whom out of fear of domestic or physical violence. Crime also retards
the development of people and a society which in turn labels a society dangerous seen both
locally and internationally.

In a case study about Trinidad and Tobago entitled Guns and Crime, developed by the World
Banks Consultant Holder Yuette, May 2006 indicated that world leaders had a great concern
about the negative effects of illicit gun trade on the peace and stability development of a country.
In order to curve crime the government must take control the black market trade in arms by
controlling the imports and exports and transfers to prevent diversion of illicit use.

The literature presented reviewed the concerns and causes of crimes with its negative effects on
teens in the Caribbean society of Trinidad, Laventille. It concludes that crime has multiple
negative effects on the Caribbeans younger generation and the regions people, be it socially,
psychologically, economically and physically. Nonetheless, there are much development and
enforceable ideas needed by Caribbean nations to decrease the occurrence of crime in their

Method of Data Collection

In order to carry out this internal assessment based on the negative impacts of crime on teenagers
in the Laventille area. The researcher had to utilize both primary and secondary sources of data
collection. The primary data source employed was a questionnaire whilst the secondary sources
of data collection included the local newspaper articles and internet based document analysis.
The questionnaire, a data collection instrument include a series of both open and close ended
questions designed to answer the objectives of the research. A total of fourteen questions were

asked in the questionnaire. A qualitative method of sampling was employed since, as much as 50
persons in the Laventille area, during October 15-20th, 2014, was selected. The researcher made
use of non probability sampling via the method of convenience sampling since as a CAPE
student there is a constricted time limit to work with, so the people chosen were amongst those
whom were easily accessible with different ages.
The structure of the questionnaire allowed for the persons answering the questions to remain
anonymous and confidential so that they can be as truthful and analytical as possible in
interpreting simple and straight forward questions and answers.
Secondary data was collected via document analysis. This was done by the review of newspaper
articles from both the local Newsday and Express, police record and briefings from the acting
police commissioner of Trinidad and Tobago. All these sources commented on the impacts crime
has on the Caribbeans people, using the direct example of Laventille, Trinidad, for the time
duration of approximately ten years (2004-2014). These sources contributed to the researchers
understanding of the problem via the use of comprehensible, relevant examples.

Presentation of Findings

People who said YES
People who said NO
50 /50
Table Showing the Number of Persons Who Knew Someone Who Has Been A Victim of Crime
In The Laventille Area

Fig 1.2

Pryamid Graph Showing The Major Crimes To What Victims Have Fallen To.
Number of Persons





Drugs Gang Activity

Types of Crimes

Pyramid Graph Showing The Major Crimes To Which People Have Been Victims To In The
Laventille Area.

Fig 1.3

People Who Commit Crime

Numer of Persons


People Who Commit Crime

Cylinder Graph Showing People Who Most Likely Commit Crime In The Laventille Area.

Fig 1.4

Age Bracket Influenced Into Criminal Activities

Ages 9-12

Ages 13-19

Ages 20-30

Ages 30+

Doughnut Graph Showing The Age Bracket In Percentage The People Most Likely To Be
Influenced Into Criminal Activities In The Laventille Area

Fig 1.5

Major Causes of Crime

Being a Victim of Crime
Lack of Educational Opportunities
Poverty/ Deprivationof Financial Resources
Factors of Crime

Poor Parenting Skills

Television Violence
Drug Trafficing
0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16
Number of Persons

Bar Graph Portraying The Major Causes Of Crime In The Laventille Area

Fig 1.6

Most Prominant Crimes in Lavantille

Drug Trafficing
Audio Theft

Pie Chart Indicating The Percentage Of The Most Prominent Crimes In Laventille

Fig 1.7

Break up of Families
(20 Persons)
Lost of Relatives
(18 Persons)

An Inverted Pyramid Chart Showing Some Effects Of Criminal Activities In The Laventille

Fig 1.8

Strenghtening of Parent-Child
Relationships (25 Persons)
Academic and Trade Education
(20 Persons)
Job Availability (5 Persons)
A Process Chart Displaying; Implemented Suggestion For the Reduction Of Criminal Activities
In The Laventille Community


Interpretation of Findings

After the questionnaires were retrieved, the results were evaluated and graphically presented in
order to facilitate further analysis.
According to Fig 1.1 a table was used to represent how many people that actually filled out the
questionnaires knew someone who has been a victim of crime in the Laventille area. According
To the table out of the 50 persons whom answered the questionnaires, total said they knew
someone who has been a victim of crime and as a result not one person knew someone who
hasnt been a victim of crime. This shows that crime is very prevalent in Trinidad and Tobago.
Fig 1.2 displays a pyramid graph showing the major types of crimes in which people have been
victims to in the Laventille area. These results were based on the 50 questionnaires distributed in
the Laventille area. According to my sample population there were several types of crime that
were prominent. Robbery being the most committed crime, affected 18 people followed by
Murder which affected 15 people. Rape impacted 12 people, being third to affect people in
Laventille followed by Drugs affecting 6 people and lastly Gang Activity affecting 4 persons.
This shows that crimes in Laventille vary.
Fig 1.3 shows a Cylindrical Graphical Representation, Displaying People Who Most Likely
Commit Crimes in the Laventille Area based on the sum of questionnaires distributed. According
to the statistics Family Members are most likely the ones who commit the most crimes cause out
of a sample population of 50 persons, 21 said that family members committed the most crimes.
Community members ranked second with 18 persons followed by Friends with 7 and people who
said themselves were 4.
Fig 1.4 displays a Doughnut Graph Showing the Age Bracket in Percentage the People Most
Likely to Be Influenced into Criminal Activities in the Laventille Area. Ages 13-19 shows that 50
% of people in the Laventille Area the commit crime most like are teenagers. Adults ages 20-30
represent 22% of people most likely to commit crimes in the Lanventille area. Ages 30+ shows
16% of people most likely to commit crimes in Laventille Followed by Ages 9-12 most

like to commit the least amount of crime representing 12% of the Laventille population. This
shows that Teens ages 13-18 most likely to be influenced into a life of crime which children ages
9-12 shows the least likely to commit crimes in the Laventille area.
According to Fig 1.5 a Bar Graph was used to Show the Major Causes of Crime in the Laventille
Area. The graph states that poverty is the main cause of crime since 15 out of 50 people stated
this. Lack of education is the second main cause of crime since 11 out of 50 people stated this.
Poor parenting at the third stop since 10 out of the 50 people stated this. Drug trafficking takes
fourth place with 7 out of 50 people stated this. Being a victim of crime was only 5 out of 50 and
lastly television violence was a mere 2 out of 50.
Fig 1.6 which was a pie chart was used to show the percentages of the most prominent crimes in
Laventille. The most prominent crime in Laventille is Robbery consisting of 22 % of the sample
population followed by Rape of 20% of the same sample population. Following was Murder with
18% then kidnapping with 14%, then drug trafficking with 12% then Vandalism with 8% and
lastly audio theft with 6% of the sample population.
Fig 1.7 displays An Inverted Pyramid Chart Showing Some Effects of Criminal Activities in the
Laventille Area. Breaking up of families topped the pyramid as 20 individuals from the sample
population stated it. Secondly lost of relatives was another effect of crime since 18 people chose
this. Lastly financial issues/replacements were the least effect since only 12 people stated this out
of the sample population of 50.
Fig 1.8 was a process chart Showing Suggestions to be implemented in the community of
Lanventille to Reduce Crime. 25 persons chose the strengthening of parent child relationships,
20 persons chose academic and trade education and lastly 5 persons chose job availability all
suggested ways to reduce crime in the Laventille area.


Discussion of Findings

The investigation sought to answer the problem statement, What are the negative impacts of
crime on teenagers ages (11-18 years) in the district of Laventille within the past 10 years (20042014) by analyzing statistics and data obtained by using specially designed questionnaires
distributed based on my choice to fifty persons in the sample area.
The results obtained revealed that that poverty is the main cause of crime in Laventille and the
majority of respondents admitted that crime is a serious issue shown in fig 1.5 as fifteen
respondents chose Poverty as the main cause of crime. There are also many causes of crime such
as drug-trafficking, television violence, poor parenting skills, lack of educational opportunities
and being a victim of crime.
Crime have negative effects in Trinidad and Tobago and according fig 1.7 the effects of crime are
the Breakup of families according to the sample population twenty persons selected this followed
by loss of relatives as eighteen people chose this followed by financial issues in which twelve
people chose.
Crime impact on communities in negatives ways. According to fig 1.1 the sample population
stated that crimes such as Robbery, Murder, Rape, Drugs and Gang Activity affect Laventille
It is shown statistically that crime negatively impacts on teenagers in the Laventille area.
According to fig 1.4 the age bracket most influenced into a life of crime are teenagers ages 1319 as 50% percent of the sample population stated this.
Crime can be resolved in many ways according to the sample population they suggested that
there should be a strengthening of parent-child relationships, Academic and trade education also
job availability.


Initially, the aim of this research was to study and provide a suitable answer to the
problem statement, what are the negative impacts of crime on teenagers ages (11-18years) in
the district of Laventille within the past 10years (2004-2014)? After analyzing both the primary
data (questionnaires) and secondary information obtained, it was observed that the key factor of
crime in the community of Laventille is poverty or the deprivation of governmental financial
resources. It was also indicated that crime does have a negative impact to an extent, to the
communitys teens. It does however disrupt the lives of those that are directly targeted and
stricken by it. In addition, most arent influenced into criminal activities. Furthermore, the
greatest, suggested solution to depleting the crime problem is to tackle it from the earliest stages,
where parents should be trying to strengthen the relationship with their children in order to
prevent any hatred or misguidance and thwart the duplication of criminals.


Limitations of Research
The study does not prove a holistic evaluation of Trinidad and Tobago because of the limited
sample group used. Hence there may be a questionable approach to the reliability and validity of
the study. The time allotted was also too short making it difficult to have a larger sample group
which would have produced more reliable conclusions.
Another Limitation was that only forty eight of the fifty questionnaires handed out were fully
completed. After reviewing the respondents it seemed that some people were dishonest while
some respondents did not take the time to give a detail and relevant response.



As a result of my conducting my research objectives Poverty seems like the major cause of crime
in the Caribbean as a whole. Trinidad especially Laventille shows statistical signs that Poverty is
the major cause of crime. Citizens who are jobless, uneducated and influence into a life of crime
seek refuge to acquire money and citizens who are in the wrong company may be encouraged to
commit crime. In order to curb these problems the government and the societies themselves need
to address these issues of crime and the factors relating to it.
If more jobs become readily available especially the ones looking for unskilled workers will
reduce crime immensely as citizens will have a means of income and will not become financially
depressed. Also if more sporting and educational institutes were implemented locally especially
in crime hotspots, where trade skills can be learnt people would have less idle time and can be
able to acquire jobs and not get involved in crime.
Special emphasis must be placed on the young and homeless so reduce delinquency. The
organization of youth groups within villages can reduce delinquent behaviours. More
rehabilitation centers should also be constructed so that drug addicts could cure themselves and
not commit crimes under the influence. In addition activities to strengthen the parent-child
relationship, such as attending places of worship, family outings should be practiced regularly so
that spiritual education, values and morals may be instilled in the child and most likely wouldnt
lead them astray.
Lastly the law enforcement agencies should be updated so that they would become more
efficient. More frequent patrols in districts around Trinidad and Tobago especially Laventille
might curve the high crime rate throughout the region to reduce and monitor crime.


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Guide). Barbados: Ottley Solutions.
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Browne, D. et al. (2000). Readings In Caribbean Studies. (C.X.C. CAPE Resource
Material). pp. 191-216.

Ibid, "Port of Spain gangs 'colonising' Trinidad600 soldiers under boss";

Maguire, E. R., King, W. R., Johnson, D., & Katz, C. M. Why homicide clearance rates
decrease: Evidence from the Caribbean. Policing and Society, 2010.;
Johnson, D., King, W.R., Katz, C.M., Fox, A.M., & Goulette, N. "Youth Perceptions of
the Police in Trinidad and Tobago." Caribbean Journal of Criminology and Public Safety
13 (1&2): 217-253, 2008.
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Trinidad and Tobago. Caribbean Journal of Criminology and Public Safety, 13, 48-92,
The University of the West Indies. St. Augustine: International Conference on Gangs,
Violence and Government, November 3-4, 2011. Accessed September 23,
World Bank, Yvette Holder, Consultant. (2009). Case Study,