“Hearts that know one desire,

That if there is a Messiah,

Someday He’d hear their whispered prayer.”

These lines from Singing Sandra’s 1999 calypso, ‘Voices from the Ghetto’ are reflective of what must be heavy on the heart of Randolph Bharatt, father of 23-year-old court clerk Andrea Bharatt who went missing four days ago. He has been joined by friends and relatives in offering prayers for her safe return.

Speaking to Guardian Media about his daughter, Mr Bharatt described her as “the most quietest egg you could find, no complaint, no quarrel, no nothing. She is a gem of a girl.”

He pleaded with Andrea’s kidnappers, “do not harm my daughter. Please release her. Let her come home safe. I begging. She is the only thing in my life.”

Mr Bharatt’s only child was heartlessly snatched by men who see nothing wrong with what they did. They seem to have no concern that this is someone’s child, a young woman who lost her mother and who was a comfort to her father.

Last year it was Ashanti Riley. Before that many other young women, some whom we have forgotten but who to their families will never be statistics but loved ones gone too soon.

Each time one of these young women disappears the nation prays that the worse will not happen. Who are these men posing as humans who prey on young women without giving a thought to the harm they cause to the women, even if they walk out alive, or to their families?

The sad reality in Trinidad and Tobago today is that there are no consequences for crime. The criminals, if they are caught, are detained in prisons which may be overcrowded, but where they live their lives, oblivious to the pain and grief they leave in the wake of their heinous acts.

The justice system seems to be skewed in their favour. They live it up in prisons where they have access to everything, including cell phones, to call their accomplices and put a hit on someone’s life.

The criminal justice system is not where it is supposed to be. The wheels of justice seem to be stuck and many have died not getting justice for the crimes committed against them.

Trinidad and Tobago has become a heartless nation.

From the very hallowed halls of Parliament where the decision-makers sit to those who commit crimes as though they were having morning coffee, this country needs an awakening.

Many prayed for Ashanti’s safe return. Many are praying for the safe release of Andrea. It sends chills up the spine just thinking what these young women endure at the hands of beasts posing as men.

If we are serious about dealing with crime it is time that those who deck themselves out on both sides of the political divide and sit in the Parliament throwing talk at each other, wake up to the reality that things are not good in this country. They need to stop paying lip service every time a crime is committed. Far too many mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters have cried tears of blood because of these animals posing as humans. It is time to put a stop to it! Those who do the crime must do the time. Justice must be served.