Sun | Oct 21, 2018

Letter of the Day | Target breeding grounds for gangs

Published:Monday | May 21, 2018 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

Arguably, sufficient time has now elapsed for the empirical evidence to be assessed as to whether the Government's crime-fighting initiative in the way of zones of special operations and states of emergency has proven to be effective.

While the jury may yet still be out on this, it certainly cannot be in the interest of Brand Jamaica, as a tourist destination, to have the constant images of members of our security forces with high-powered weapons (ready for battle) out in their numbers at makeshift checkpoints along our roadways.

Focus must placed be on targeting those teenage males who are often seen at intersections or busy thoroughfares across the Corporate Area and certain parts within the rural area. The sight of young men congregating at any hour of the day 'holding corners' or kneading their 'hand middles' is all too familiar and seems to have become the norm in our socio-economic landscape. This state of affairs presents itself as the ideal source from which criminals are spawned and from which those who would wish to recruit gang members find most attractive.

It is, therefore, not surprising that the overwhelming numbers of persons either on remand in our lock-ups or serving terms of imprisonment are between the ages of 16 and 24. The State should revisit the concept of truancy officers and a more rigorous enforcement of the Child Care and Protection Act.

In times past, the recollection was that there would be officers from the Ministry of Education who would seek to identify those youngsters who were strangers to the classroom and bring the parents of these youngsters to book. Gone are those days.

 

STATE INTERVENTION

 

The prosecution of parents who fail to seek the State's assistance in controlling their children who are uncontrollable must be pursued. The omission of such parents to seek the State's intervention is an acquiescence on their part to such children who exercise their own will to loiter at our traffic lights or other areas of the city.

Alongside this must be a revitalised government programme of population control. Whatever happened to 'two is better than two many'? Invariably, it is always those that can afford to have more than two children who adhere to this practice. Conversely, those that cannot afford to have more than two children often do otherwise.

PETER CHAMPAGNIE

peter.champagnie@gmail.com