Sun | Oct 22, 2017

Youth-on-youth violence rocking St James

Published:Thursday | December 3, 2015 | 12:00 AMOkoye Henry

Western Bureau:

The hope that the next generation of young adults in St James might be less inclined to engage criminality as a way of life could well be only wishful thinking as, based on information provided by Senior Superintendent Steve McGregor, the commanding officer for the St James Police Division, youth-on-youth violence is at an alarming level.

According to McGregor, since the start of the year, there have been more than 40 cases of youth-on-youth violence recorded in St James, prompting the parish's police hierarchy to tighten its grip on youngsters who have shown the potential to engage in criminal activities during the upcoming Christmas school break.

TWO FATALITIES

"We have had two fatalities coming out of that, as well as we have taken five guns from students in different schools in St James," said McGregor, in speaking to the 40 cases of youth-on-youth violence this year.

"The most recent gun find was from a student of a prominent high school in the parish last week."

According to McGregor, the teen, who was recently held with a firearm, is currently in custody pending further investigation. He further noted that he and his team went to the teen's school, where they engaged students and teachers in discussions about the harmful effects of a life of crime.

"So, you see, now that we are going into the school break, into the Christmas period, we will be focusing on them and their behaviour in the township," said McGregor. "We know that youngsters are playing a very integral part in the whole illegality, lottery scamming and illicit behaviour."

According to McGregor, the initiative aimed at keeping wayward youngsters in check over the holiday period will be driven by personnel from the police's community and safety team as well as policemen on foot patrol.

McGregor is also appealing to parents to keep an eye on their children during the period of festivities.

St James has been the nation's most violent parish since the start of 2015 with close to 200 murders. The illicit lottery scam is being blamed for the vast majority of the murders.