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Poverty not the main cause of crime - Bunting

Published:Friday | February 2, 2018 | 12:00 AMRomario Scott/Gleaner Writer

Former National Security Minister Peter Bunting is rejecting the notion that the leading cause of violence is the country's high poverty.

The member of parliament for Central Manchester who had portfolio responsibility for national security in the former Portia Simpson Miller-led administration, instead pointed to the deficit of values as the driving force being crime.

Bunting said there is no direct co-relation between poverty and violence.

"If it was straight poverty, if there was a direct correlation, it would show a country like Haiti, with the lowest GDP (gross domestic product) as the most violent; but it is not," he declared last week, during the launch of an initiative by Northern Caribbean University (NCU) to help rescue unattached youths who are involved in or are at risk of getting involved in crime.

"I believe it is a much more complex causation and it starts with the family and the failures at the level of family and parenting," Bunting further stated.

The former national security minister argued that the deficits left by a breakdown in family life can be mitigated by educational institutions.

He heaped praises on the NCU for "stepping into that gap" by providing a safety net to rescue trouble youth so that they can become productive citizens in the society.