St Ann police beef up security measures to protect youth
ST ANN'S BAY, St Ann:
The police in St Ann have in place a range of intervention measures to deal with issues affecting children and students in the parish, according to Superintendent Steve Brown.
"One of the things that we have always been concerned about is our children, and they play a very important role in our policing plan, especially of the fact that we have some troubled schools in St Ann," Brown told The Gleaner.
With the current spate of crime against children causing concern among Jamaicans, the measures are modified as necessary.
According to Brown, the measures include:
"Sometimes when these troubled schools are dismissed, police officers will go there from time to time to ensure that students take taxis and go home rather than spending time and congregate on the streets.
"We have seen in recent times what we would call going back to the days of old policing where the parents would call in the police to talk to the students and talk to the children when they're at home and we take a keen interest in doing that, and we will continue to do that.
"We have active police youth club movement across the parish and from time to time the senior officers and the community safety officer do get involved in projects like those and work close with the students.
"In the schools as well, we work very close with teachers, principals and guidance counsellors, so if there are troubled students in the school, we tend to get involved and work closely with the student to ensure everybody is OK;
"We do find them coming to the station from time to time to talk to police officers. They oftentimes come in to make complaints about their parents and the police would call them in and provide counselling for them. Things that we can't deal with, we refer them to the trained counsellors and the chaplaincy unit within the organisation.
"When the children misbehave on the street, we normally take them from the street to the police station or elsewhere, and stay there with them until their parents come for them.
"We travel at various times of the night and if we see children on the street, while we do not have a specific curfew, once it passes, like nine o'clock, the patrol is going to take them off the street and send them home. If they're stranded, we take them home, but sometimes we take them to the station and ask the parents to come for them if they live in a volatile area.
"If we go to any party or dance, once a child is there, it is locked off, and that's it.
These measures have been in place for a while and are adjusted as necessary, Brown explained.
"We tweak those and we keep working to develop them and working to ensure they are properly activated."