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Socio-demographic factors and homicide targeting youth in Trinidad and Tobago – some clues toward prevention based on multivariate statistical analyses
  1. G St Bernard*
  1. Correspondence The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus, Not applicable, Trinidad and Tobago

Abstract

The phenomenal rise in the rate of homicide in Trinidad and Tobago is propelled to some extent by increases in the concomitant with increases in victimisation resulting in homicides targeting youth. This paper examines theoretical insights that have traditionally been embraced to explain the victimisation of youth in homicide cases and is critical in arriving at a better understanding of the dynamics of victimisation targeting youth who become homicide victims. Using a data file containing 3130 cases pertaining to homicide victims in Trinidad and Tobago during January 2000 and December 2009. Descriptive statistics and logistic regression analysis are used to interrogate age-determined patterns of association among victims and in particular, circumstantial outcomes among youth victims. Preliminary results show that homicide targeting youth is overwhelmingly a male phenomenon, this being much more markedly evident when compared to corresponding observations for persons in the other functional age groups. Firearms, altercations and gang violence are more likely to assume prominence in homicide cases targeting youthful victims 15–29 years old. Thus, it is not surprising that cases involving youthful victims are less likely to be detected than those involving victims in the other functional age groups. The above findings are explored in the context of other social and demographic characteristics of homicide victims and permit efforts to suggest remedial measures to prevent and reduce observed increase in homicide episodes in the early years of the new millennium. To this end, they permit the adoption of strategies that could be deemed preventive.

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