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Guns, Crime and Social Order in the West Indies

NCJ Number
Criminology and Criminal Justice Volume: 9 Issue: 3 Dated: August 2009 Pages: 287-305
Biko Agozino; Ben Bowling; Elizabeth Ward; Godfrey St. Bernard
Date Published
August 2009
19 pages
This article examines guns, crime, and social order in the islands of the West Indies.
Results show some explanations for the rapid growth in gun violence, focusing on the relationships of drug trafficking, political patronage, and armed violence. The article analyzes the pistolization, or weaponization of the English speaking Caribbean, focusing on an analysis of previous research concerning guns, crime, and social order in former colonies of Great Britain. Specifically, crime data for Trinidad and Tobago for the years 2000-2006, show a steady rise in firearms prevalence in homicide, with gun homicides less likely to be solved than homicides committed by other means. Data collected from interviews with individuals directly involved in policing and security suggests that narco-trafficking is the major security threat to the region, with trafficking in illegal firearms closely linked to the drug trade. Weaponization is related to drug trafficking and although interviewees suggest that reducing drug trafficking would reduce firearms violence, evidence indicates that the problem of guns must be addressed separately. Tables, figures, and references


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