Sun | Mar 18, 2018

Police list signs of juveniles involvement in gangs

Published:Monday | November 21, 2016 | 12:00 AM
In this 2013 photo, a police from the bicycle patrol team searches a group of schoolboys who was seen loitering in the St William Grant Park in downtown Kingston.

The Counter Terrorism and Organized Crime Investigation Branch (C-TOC) is reminding the public that it is an offence under Sections 4 and 5 of the Criminal Justice (Suppression of Crime Organization) Act for any person to recruit a child or adult to a criminal organisation.

The police are therefore appealing to the public and, in particular, to parents, guardians, caregivers and deans of discipline to contact C-TOC where it appears that a child is being recruited into a criminal organisation.

To assist the public to identify gang involvement, particularly those involving juveniles, the police listed the following markers/indicators as signs of their involvement:

Associating with known gang members

o Having large sums of money or expensive items without proper justification.

o Driving expensive vehicles.

o Sudden hatred for other groups.

o Glamorising gangs.

o Presence of body modifications, including tattoos, scarring, burns and brands.

o Truancy.

o Decline in grades.

o Developing attitude problems with parents, teachers or others in authority.

o Withdrawing from the family or certain friends.

o Secretive or abrupt changes in behaviour.

o Presence of gang graffiti in bedroom or on books, clothing, shoes or posters.

o Using hand signs to communicate with other gang members, siblings, teachers and parents.

o Displaying photos showing gang names, slogans, insignia, hand signals or using slangs characteristic of gangs operating in their communities.

o Participating in gang activities.

The police are encouraging persons entrusted with the care and protection of minors to be aware of the signs, and once gang involvement is suspected, to immediately report it to the C-TOC at 967-5627, police 119 emergency number, Crime Stop at 311 or the nearest police station.